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"The Socrates of Cuban youth," as he has often been called, 
Jose Cipriano de la Luz y Caballero was born in Havana on July 
11, 1799, and was educated at the Convent of San Francisco, the 
University of Havana, and the San Carlos Seminary where he was 
a pupil of his uncle, Jose Agustin Caballero^ and of Felix Varela. 
Later he travelled and studied in the United States and Europe. 
In Germany he became intimately associated with Baron Humboldt. 
Returning to Cuba in 1831, he gave himself to the task of improv- 
ing and promoting the educational interests of his country. In 
1843 he revisited Europe, but was recalled the following year to 
answer an absurdly false charge of being implicated in the Negro 
Conspiracy. He then founded and until his death conducted his 
famous school of El Salvador, in which for a generation many of 
the foremost Cubans were educated, and in which manhood and 
patriotism were ever the foremost items of the curriculum. He 
was the author of a number of standard educational works. He 
died on June 22, 1862. 


a j;k lo 




A.M., L.H.D 
Author of "A Century of Expansion," "Four Centuries of 

the Panama Canal," "America's Foreign Relations" 

Hoaorary Professor of the History of American Foreign 

Relations in New York University 






Copyright, 1920, 

All rights reserved 



1 3 







Conditions at the Beginning of the Era of Revolutioji Cuba's 
CorrmrcrctaT Backwardness Resources Unappreciated Statistics 
,/>f Imports and Exports The Sugar Trade Burdensome Taxes 
and Tariffs Restrictions on Personal Liberty Obstacles to 
Travel Titles of Nobility The Intendent and His Powers ' 
Authority and Functions of the Captain-General ^District Gov- 
ernments Municipal Organization The Courts Control of the 
Navy Censorship of the Press Adversion to Foreigners, Par-| j 
'ticularly to Americans. 


Narciso Lopez and His Career His Valor in the Venezuelan 
Wars A Soldier of Spain Some Daring Exploits With the 
Spanish Army in Cuba His Distinguished Career in Spain A 
Leader Against the Carlists General and Senator Important 
Office in Cuba Alienation from Spain First Plans for Cuban 


Betrayal of Lopez's First Revolutionary Venture His Flight 
to New York Cuban Juntas in the United States Lopez's Ne- 
gotiations with Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee Unofficial 
American Aid Strained American Relations with Spain Offi- 
cial Warnings Against Filibustering An Elaborate Expedition 
Prepared by Lopez in the United States for the Freeing of Cuba 
His Proclamation to His Followers The Voyage to Cuba. 


The Landing of Lopez at Cardenas The Flag of Cuba Libre 
for the First Time Unfurled on Cuban Soil Parleying and Fight- 
ing at Cardenas Spanish Treachery Failure of the Cuban Peo- 
ple to Rally to the Support of Lopez Retreat and Reembarca- 
tion of the Expedition Mutiny of the Crew Landing at Key 
West Spanish Wrath Against the United States Arrest of Lopez 
and His Comrades Their Release. 





Administration of Concha and His Recall Second Expedition 
of Lopez Recruited in the United States Men and Money Pro- 
vided in the South Betrayal of the Scheme Proclamation of 
the Captain-General Disturbances in Cuba Third Expedition 
of Lopez Organized Aguero's Attempt at Revolution at Puerto 
Principe His Proclamation Initial Victories Over the Span- 
iards A Fatal Mistake Suppression of the Revolution by Over- 
whelming Numbers Execution of the Leaders Suppression of 
Other Uprisings. 


Another Expedition Organized by Lopez Its Roster Departure 
from New Orleans Colonel Crittenden Arrival at Key West 
The Landing in Cuba Lack of Cuban Support Fatal Division 
of Forces Desperate Fighting with Spaniards Crittenden's 
Mistake Capture of the Revolutionists by the Spaniards Indig- 
nities and Tortures Fifty-Two Put to Death Heroism of Crit- 
tenden 111 Fortune of Lopez Betrayal and Capture of Lopez 
and His Comrades His Death on the Scaffold. 


Failure and Success of Lopez Irrepressible Determination of 
Cuba to Be Free Crisis in the Affairs of Spain Animosity 
Between Creoles and Spaniards Expressions of Cuban Senti- 
ment and Determination Profound Impression Produced in the 
United States Opposing Views of Pro-Slavery and Anti-Slavery 
Men Attitude of Great Britain and France Anti-Spanish Out- 
break in New Orleans Webster's Diplomacy England and 
France Warned Not to Meddle in Cuba Spain's Appeal to Eng- 
land Against America Tripartite Pact Refused. 


American Overtures for the Purchase of Cuba Some Early 
Diplomacy Change of Policy Under President Polk Spain's 
Refusal to Consider Sale Pierre Soule's Extraordinary Negotia- 
tions The Black Warrior Controversy Soule's Humiliation 
The Ostend Manifesto Marcy's Shrewd Disposition of It 
Buchanan's Futile Persistence. 


Revolution in- .Peninsular Spain General Prim's Proclamations 
General Response Throughout the Kingdom Serrano's Entry 
Into Madrid Flight of the Queen Republican Government 
Established Downfall of Maximilian in Mexico Change in 
American Attitude Toward Cuba Because of the Civil War and 
Abolition of Slavery Organization of the Spanish "Volunteers" 
in Cuba The Moret Anti-Slavery Law Cuban Interest in the 
Spanish Revolution. 




Cuban Independence Proclaimed at the Outbreak of the Ten 
Years' War Provisional Government Organized Carlos Manuel 
Cespedes Proclamation of Emancipation Representative Gov- 
ernment Formed Cespedes's Address The First Cuban Consti- 
tution The House of Representatives Presidential Proclama- 
tion Proclamation of General Quesada Proclamation of Count 
Valmaseda Request for Recognition The "Juntas of the La- 
borers" Cuban Government and Laws Organization of the 
Cuban Army. 


Beginning of Hostilities Comparative Strengths of the Cuban 
and Spanish Armies The Spanish Navy Pacific Measures First 
Tried by Captain-General Dulce Their Rejection by the Cu- 
bans The First Engagements Cuban Victories Destruction of 
Bayamo Revolts in Many Places Murder of Cespedes's Mes- 
senger by Volunteers Guerilla Warfare Havana in a State of 
Siege Progress of the Insurrection Throughout the Island 
Duke's Change of Policy Sympathy and Aid for the Revolution 
^frorn the United States. 


An Appeal to the United States for Recognition President 
\Grant Overruled by His Secretary of State Americans Stirred 
by News of Spanish Cruelties Cuban Disappointment at Non- 
Recognition Progress of the War Spanish Reenforcements 
Liberation of Slaves Spanish Successes Controversies with the 
United States Destruction of Property Arrival of General Jor- 
dan with Supplies Dulce Forced Out of Office by the Volun- 
teers Accession of Rodas and His Decrees The "Butcher of 
Cadiz" American Protests Against Interference with Commerce 
Proposals of Mediation More Aid from the United States. 


Great Increase of Revolutionary Strength Spain's Enormous 
Force The Case of Napoleon Arango His Extraordinary 
Manifesto An Elaborate Appeal for Betrayal of the Revolution 
Designing Decrees of Rodas Emancipation Decree of the 
Spanish Government Its Practical Effects Atrocities Practised 
by the Spanish Downfall of Rodas and Appointment of Val- 
maseda as Captain-General Spanish Overtures to the United 
States Murder of Zenea by the Volunteers Address by Ces- 
pedes Treachery in the Ranks. 


Counter-Revolution in Spain Amadeus Made King Increased 
Malignity of the Volunteers The Massacre of the Cuban Stu- 
dents Death of General Quesada Reorganization of the Cuban 



Army Campaign of Maximo Gomez Progress of the War with 
Varying Fortunes Calixto Garcia at Jiguani Gradual Reduc- 
tion of Cuban Strength Valmaseda's Savage Threats. 

CHAPTER XV 4 ... 271 

Spain's Desperate Efforts to Suppress the Revolution Stubborn 
Resistance of the Cubans Valmaseda Opposed and Overthrown 
by the Volunteers Accession of Jovellar Increasing Interest 
in Cuban Affairs in the United States Spain a Republic Again 
Retirement of Cespedes The Seizure of the Virginius Mas- 
sacre of Many of Her Passengers and Crew Strenuous Inter- 
vention Settlement of the Affair "The Book of Blood" Span- 
ish Confessions of Brutality. 


Renewed Cuban Successes The Island in a State of Siege 
Concha Again Captain-General Record of the Cost of the War 
^-The United States Threatens Intervention Spanish Anger 
A Protest to England Against America American Peace Pro- 
posalsStrength of the Spanish Army A War of Extermination 
Martinez Campos Becomes Captain-General His Conciliatory 
Decrees Surrender of Cuban Leaders The Treaty of Zanjon 
End of the War Campos's Explanation of His Course. 


Results of the Ten Years' War Political Parties in Cuba 
The Liberals, Who Were Conservative The Union Constitu- 
tionalists A Third Party Platform Cubans in the Cortes Fail- 
ure to Fulfill the Treaty of Zanjon The Little War Calixto 
Garcia's Campaign Cuban Fugitives Protected by England 
Revolt of 1885 Custom House Frauds at Havana A Reign of 
Lawlessness Tariff Troubles The Roster of Rulers. 


The Intellectual and Spiritual Development of Cuba Some 
Famous Cuban Authors Jose Maria Heredia Felix Varela y 
Morales Jose de la Luz y Caballero, "The Father of the Cuban 
Revolution" Domingo del Monte and the "Friends of Peace" 
Jose Antonio Saco Joaquin Lorenzo Luaces Dona Luisa 
Perez Dona Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda Nicolas Azcarate 
Juan Clemente Zenea Rafael Merchan The Distinguished In- 
tellectual Status of Cuba Among ..the Nations. 


Jose Cipriano de la Luz y Caballero .... Frontispiece 


The Old Presidential Palace 14 

Falls of the Hanebanilla 110 

Carlos Manuel de Cespedes 158 

Ignacio Agramonte 258 

Calixto Garcia 268 

A Santiago Sunset 280 

Jose Silverio Jorrin . 308 

Jose Maria Heredia 318 

Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda . 332 



Narciso Lopez 23 

Ramon Pinto 62 

Manuel Quesada 167 

Francisco V. Aguilera 173 

Bemabe de Varona 178 

Miguel de Aldama 204 

Domingo Goicouria 234 

Nicolas Azcarate 251 

Juan Clemente Zenea 252 

Salvador Cisneros Betancourt 276 

Felipe Poey 315 

Antonio Bachiller 317 

Felix Varela 320 

Jose Agustin Caballero 321 

Domingo del Monte 323 

Jose Jacinto Milanes 324 

Jose Manuel Mestre 326 

Luisa Perez de Zambrana 328 

Joaquin Lorenzo Luaces 330 

Enrique Pineyro 334 



THE revolutionary era in Cuban history had its rise 
amid circumstances of both political and commercial dis- 
satisfaction and protest, and it is by no means impossible 
nor even improbable that the latter form of discontent 
was the more potent of the two. The commercial and 
industrial development of the island, despite its almost 
incredibly opulent resources, had been very slow, be- 
cause handicapped by selfish and sordid misgovernment. 
The typical attitude of the Peninsular government and 
its agents in Cuba had been to use and to exploit the 
island for the sole benefit of Spain, and not to permit 
other nations to enter in competition. Other countries, 
in fact, so great was the secrecy maintained with regard 
to Cuba, knew but little of the vast wealth contained in 
this small space of land. Consequently the island was 
developed in accordance with the wishes, needs, and po- 
tentialities of Spain and with one other point of view. 
Cuba was never exploited by Spain for all its worth, and 
indeed there seems to be doubt as to whether Spain ever 
grasped in full the future possibilities of the island. 
Certain it is that she never actually realized them. And 
the loss was in consequence as great to Spain as it was 
to Cuba. For had Spain allowed herself to lose sight of 
the richness of present extortions and aided Cuba to 
develop her resources for the future, the whole story 
would have been far different. But the people of the 


United States were beginning to recognize Cuba's pos- 
sibilities. American merchants began to flock thither. 
American money and American resourcefulness opened 
new doors for Cuba's rich products. American trade 
and enterprise contributed a great deal which made for 
Cuban expansion and industrial development. In proof 
of this there is the fact that the island towns on the north 
side, which is nearest the United States, increased both 
in population and commercially, in striking contrast to 
the slow growth of the towns on the south side of the 
island. In 1850 these latter towns, with Santiago de 
Cuba as the chief city, did not maintain more than 
twenty-five per cent, of the trade of the island. 

In further proof of America's hand in the develop- 
ment of Cuba, we may cite the following tables, in every 
one of which it is easy to see that Cuba's trade was 
largely with the United States. Taking the records of 
Cuban trade in 1828 as typical of the commerce of the 
early part of the century, we get the following contrasts 
with the figures of the years immediately preceding 1850: 

Cuban imports in 1828, $19,534,922; exports, $13,- 
414,362; revenue, $9,086,406. 

Cuban imports in 1847, $32,389,117; exports, $27,- 
998,770; revenues, $12,808,713. 

Cuban imports in 1848, $20,346,516; exports, $20,- 
461,934; revenue, $11,635,052. 

These statistics of the imports and exports of Cuba are 
divided according to the chief countries concerned : 

1847 Imports Exports 

United States $10,892,335 $8,880,040 

Spain 7,088,750 6,780,058 

England 6,389,936 7,240,880 

France 1,349,683 1,940,535 


United States $6,933,538 $8,285,928 

Spain 7,088,750 3,927,007 

England 4,974,545 1,184,201 


Entries and clearings of vessels from Cuba were as 
follows : 

1847 1848 

Entries Clearances Entries Clearances 

United States 2,012 1,722 1,733 1,611 

Spain 819 751 875 747 

England 563 489 670 348 

France 99 81 85 63 

Copper was at this time greatly exported from Cuba. 
Since its discovery in 1530 comparatively little had been 
done until three centuries later. In 1830 an English 
company commenced operating the copper mines and 
from that time to 1870 had extracted this ore to the value 
of $50,000,000. 

Sugar had long been the greatest source of Cuban 
wealth. It was always the sugar planter who had social 
as well as financial prestige on the island. Up to the 
middle of the nineteenth century even the poorest and 
smallest of sugar plantations had yielded a profit of 
$100,000 a year while the larger and more prosperous 
ones had cleared even as high as $200,000 annually. 
And all this had been accomplished with a minimum of 
effort. Vast areas of Cuba at this period were given 
over to these plantations. Some estates devoted them- 
selves exclusively to raising the cane, while others ran 
mills which ground the cane and prepared the product for 
sale as sugar. Particularly with the soil as it was then, 
unravished by revolution, with its original fertility unim- 
paired, it was rarely necessary to replant the sugar cane. 
The old sprouts came up year after year, yielding at 
least two crops a year without any necessity for disturb- 
ing or enriching the soil. In 1800 Cuba exported 41,000 
tons of sugar; and in 1850 no less than 223,000 tons. 

from 1836 Cuba had no representation in the Cortes. 
Although Spain had promised Cuba "special laws," these 
were not enacted, and such laws as were put on the books 


were inimical to Cuban interests. Without representa- 
tion, Cubans were also denied free speech. To speak 
one's mind against Spain meant to be thrown into a 
dungeon. If two or more persons signed a petition to 
secure some slight betterment in conditions, it was termed 
treason, and they were promptly apprehended. Busi- 
ness was under control of the Captain-General. It had 
to pay him large sums to be allowed to live, and it was 
compelled to conduct its affairs in accordance with his 
ideas. The "Junta de Fomento" established by Arango 
was no longer a factor in the improvement of Cuban af- 
fairs, but was packed with creatures of the Captain-Gen- 
eral, with favorites of the court, and was used as a means 
of obtaining information and extorting money from 
Cubans who were suspected of disloyalty to Spain. The 
public offices were used to support additional taxation, 
and to strengthen the despotic rule of the Captain- 

Under the decree of 1825 the Captains-General had 
taken unto themselves the most autocratic power. 
Creoles were not allowed to serve in the army, or in the 
treasury, customs or judicial departments. From these 
last three they were excluded because such positions were 
lucrative, and were desired by court favorites. The Cap- 
tains-General financed and fostered all kinds of nefar- 
ious schemes for extracting wealth from the Cubans to 
pour it into their own pockets. The poor people were 
obliged to police the rural districts, and to give up their 
own occupations to work on the roads making repairs. 
The control of education in Cuba w r as given it hardly 
seems credible into the hands of the military func- 
tionaries to administer. The Spanish military authori- 
ties had a well-organized system of blackmailing well 
to do citizens by threatening to denounce them for sedi- 


tion unless they paid hush money, which was put at as 
large a sum as possible. Of course it did not matter 
whether the victim was guilty or innocent. If the latter 
he would have no opportunity of clearing himself. The 
only thing which the robbers took into consideration was 
how much he could pay. Money was the open sesame 
for prison doors, and the barrier which prevented their 
closing on the unfortunate Cuban. 

Yet one would think he would have little left for 
bribery when he had paid his taxes, for the subject of 
taxation was after all the most grievous one, and was a 
direct cause of the various filibustering expeditions which 
attempted to gain freedom for Cuba, and finally led to 
the war of independence. 

The revenues from all sources, including export and 
import duties, license fees, and the government lottery, 
for the year 1851 were $12,248,712.06, which amounted 
to a tax of $20 for each free citizen. The excess duties 
had a very deleterious effect on the commerce of Cuba. 
The duty on goods shipped direct from Spain to Cuba 
was so much less than the duty on goods shipped from 
other countries that it became the custom to ship ma- 
terials from the United States to Spain and from Spain 
back to Cuba, since this cost less than a direct shipment. 
The direct shipments of flour from the United States 
to Cuba decreased from 113,245 barrels in 1826 to 100 
barrels in 1852, while the imports of flour from Spain, 
who could hardly produce enough for her own needs, in- 
creased from 31,749 barrels to 257,451 barrels in the 
same time. Of course, this was the golden opportunity 
for the smuggler, who could slip across from Florida 
and run his boat into one of the hundreds of little coves 
with which the coast of Cuba is lined. 

Cubans might have more cheerfully rendered their 


tribute in taxes, but unfortunately the huge sums were 
not expended for the good of their country. An ex- 
travagant government had to be supported. In 1850 the 
cost of maintaining the army and all expenses in con- 
nection with it were over $5,000,000 and the navy cost 
more than $2,000,000, while the Spanish legation in the 
United States was maintained from Cuban coffers. 
Writing of such a state of affairs, Jose Antonio Saco said 
in 1835: 

"Enormous is the load of taxation which weighs upon 
us perhaps there is no people in the world which in 
proportion to its resources and population pays as much 
as the island of Cuba, nor a country, perhaps, where less 
care rs taken to use on its own soil some part of its great 

In 1851 the duty on sugar was raised from 50 cents a 
box to 87^2 cents. Flour and hogs were more heavily 
taxed than any other imports. Hogs carried a duty of 
six dollars each, while the tax on flour was so enor- 
mous as to prevent its use by any but the very wealthiest 
inhabitants. Foreign flour was discriminated against 
in favor of Spanish flour; on the former the duty was 
$10 a barrel while on the latter it was increased from 
$2.50 to $6 a barrel. The records show there impor- 
tations of flour to Cuba : 

1847 1848 

From Spain 175,870 bbls. 212,944 bbls. 

From America 59,373 bbls. 18,175 bbls. 

Total 235,243 bbls. 231,119 bbls. 

Spain was favored in other ways in these taxes. Span- 
ish vessels were taxed only one-seventh of one per cent, 
on imports, while foreign vessels were taxed 1.1 per cent, 
on the same goods. Nor were these taxes the only ones 
which the people had to undergo. One of the most per- 


nicious of all taxes was the 1/10 of all farm produce 
which was given to the church. The result of this tax 
was indirectly bad as well as unjust, for it fostered a kind 
of priest in Cuba who could do little for the moral and 
spiritual welfare of the people. 

The following table shows the revenue of the island 
in 1849-51: 






.... $5,844,783 
.... 5,639,225 

$ 584,477 



The currency of Cuba was gold and silver; and in 
1842 she had a total amount in her treasury of $12,- 
000,000 in coin. 

An official statement compiled in 1844 lists a few of 
the taxes, and gives some interesting figures as to the 
amounts collected. The Cubans were taxed six per cent, 
of the selling price, on all sales of real estate, or slaves, 
and on sales at auction and in shop. They were also 
taxed on Papal Bulls, and there were brokers' taxes, cat- 
tle taxes, shopkeepers' taxes, tax on mortgages, tax on 
donations, tax on cockfighting, taxes on grants of crosses, 
insignia or use of uniforms; taxes on promissory notes or 
bills of exchange, taxes on municipal taxes, taxes on the 
death of all non-insolvent persons, taxes on investments 
in favor of the clergy; the church did not escape, for 
there were taxes on the property of the Jesuits. There 
were also taxes on sales of public lands, taxes on the es- 
tablishments of auctioneers, and taxes on everything sold, 
water canal taxes, and customhouse duties on imports 
and exports and the tonnage of vessels. Cubans were 
not only taxed on the sale of lands, but of course on the 
land itself, and there were state and municipal taxes, and 
they were taxed en their cattle and all animals whether 


they kept them or sold them. Passports were taxed, and 
as Cuba had a large transient population this tax brought 
in a goodly sum. Public offices were privately sold to 
the highest bidder. There were taxes on the sale of 
archives to notaries for the recording of deeds. Small 
fines were being constantly imposed by grafting offi- 
cials, and the Captain-General's tribunal exacted a spe- 
cial fee, which brought in large sums. Fees were de- 
manded for marriages, both by the church and the state. 
There was an inheritance tax; there were tolls imposed 
on bridges ; and large amounts were extorted for the nom- 
ination to office of captains of districts, city ward com- 
missaries, and watchmen; gambling was licensed; and 
there were the taxes on sugar, on pastures, on coffee and 
tobacco, and on minerals exported. The tax on all crops, 
except sugar, when gathered was ten per cent. There 
was a tax of $1.25 on every hundred weight of salt. 
Government documents were required to be written on 
special paper, furnished by the government at a high 

Worse than all this were the restrictions placed on per- 
sonal liberty. No private individual of a hospitable na- 
ture was allowed to give an entertainment to his friends, 
even a small evening gathering, without obtaining a 
license, for which he paid. If he neglected to do this 
he was fined, and sometimes the license was declared in- 
valid on some pretext and he was fined anyway. 

No Cuban could move from place to place, or go on 
even a short journey, without obtaining a license. If a 
man wanted to make an evening call on a friend, he 
could not do so unless he carried a lantern, and obtained 
from each watchman whom he passed permission to pro- 
ceed. If he failed to comply, he was arrested and fined 
$8. He could not entertain a guest in his house over 


night, not even a neighbor, without informing the authori- 
ties, under penalty of a heavy fine. The household goods 
of a Cuban could not be moved from one house to an- 
other in the same town without the consent of the authori- 
ties, and the penalty for failure in this case was a fine. 

The cost of a passport, which was necessary before a 
foreigner could enter any port in Cuba, and the proceeds 
of which went into the treasury, was $2. The traveller 
was also obliged to give security for good conduct, and 
his baggage was thoroughly searched. Particular care 
was taken to see that he did not have any incendiary liter- 
ature, and if he had a Bible, which must have been con- 
sidered a dangerous book, and which, at any rate, came 
under the ban of both the church and the government, 
it was promptly separated from his other effects and 
seized. Unless he desired to remain in the seaport where 
he entered, he was required to pay twenty-five cents more 
for a passport permitting him to visit the interior. It 
seems to have been difficult enough to get into Cuba, but 
like the proverbial church fair, it was even more expen- 
sive to get out, for the privilege cost $7.50. 

Some authorities estimate that the taxes of Cuba aver- 
aged in 1850 $38 a head, while in the United States, a 
republic and the nearest neighbor, they amounted to only 
about $2. But then the people of the United States were 
free, and were not paying tribute for the privilege of being 
governed by royalty. The greater part of these taxes 
were exacted from the Creoles, for the Spaniards made 
up only about 35,000 of the population and there were 
estimated to be 520,000 Creoles at this period. 

A large number of families came to Cuba from the 
Spanish colonies of South America and Mexico, which 
had gained their independence from Spain, and from 
Florida and Louisiana when they came into the posses- 


sion of the United States. These families were, of 
course, all intensely loyal to Spain, and of the arrogant 
disposition which naturally prevailed among men of such 
tendencies as led them to prefer the autocracy of Spain 
to American democracy. In spite of this increase in 
their number, the native white or Creole population of 
Cuba outnumbered the Spanish by more than 10 to 1 . 

In 1850 among the Cubans themselves there were 50 
marquises and 30 counts. These men were in the main 
wealthy planters who had bought their titles from Spain 
for sums varying between twenty and fifty thousand dol- 
lars. The fundamental reason for this expenditure on 
their part was not wholly for social prestige but rather to 
enjoy the greater personal freedom accorded to nobles. 
These latter could never be tried by ordinary courts but 
only by tribunals, and they could not be arrested for 

Those Cubans who were hoping for better days for 
Cuba were eager that their children should have oppor- 
tunities not accorded them. They desired to send them 
to the United States for education, in the hope perhaps 
that they might imbibe some of the principles of liberty. 
But this did not find favor with the Spanish authorities, 
and it was only by swearing that the children were ill, 
that the climate did not agree with them, and that they 
were being sent away for their health, that passports 
could be obtained to get them out of the country. 

Many Cubans were persecuted by officials, high and 
low, falsely accused, condemned without a hearing; shut 
up in fortresses without adequate food, without the ordi- 
nary comforts of life, in solitary confinement, often in 
dungeons; and frequently their own people were denied 
knowledge of their whereabouts. They simply dropped 
out of sight and were gone. No man knew when he 


opened his eyes in the morning whether that day might 
be his last as a free human being free so far as he might 
be with the thousand and one restrictions imposed upon 
him. He was not sure that some enemy, unwittingly 
made, might not inform upon him for some imaginary 
action of disloyalty, or that he might not be falsely 
denounced by hired spies. It was then no wonder that 
those who loved their country, who had self-respect and 
affection for their families, longed for freedom from 
Spain, and lived in the hope of emancipation from what 
was virtual slavery. 

Under the Spanish rule the chief officer of government 
in Cuba was the Captain-General, who after the promul- 
gation of the decree of May 25, 1825, had absolute au- 
thority. Even prior to that time, because of the long 
distance between Cuba and the mother country, the time 
consumed for information and instructions to travel back 
and forth, and the fact that Spain was more or less con- 
cerned with her own none too quiet domestic affairs, the 
Captain-General was very powerful. 

There was another office under the crown which was 
much sought after, that of Intendant. He controlled the 
financial affairs of the island, and received his orders not 
from the Captain-General but direct from the crown. 
In his own realm his power was equal to that of the 
Captain-General, but he had no authority outside his 
own particular domain. The title of Intendant was 
changed to Superintendent, in 1812, at which time the 
financial business of Cuba had become so important that 
it was impossible for it to be handled from one place, 
and subordinate officers were placed in command at San- 
tiago and Puerto Principe, subject of course to the direc- 
tion of the Superintendent. 

It is needless to say that the arrogant Spanish Cap- 


tains-General did not relish having anyone on the island 
who equalled them in rank, and after much controversy 
at home and abroad the Captain-General in 1844 was 
declared to be the superior officer, and later on, in 1853, 
the two offices were united, under the title of Captain- 
General. The Superintendent was head or chief of a 
"Tribunal de Cuentas" which had judicial control over 
the treasury and its officers, was auditor in chief of all 
accounts, and voted on all expenditures. Its rulings 
were reviewed only by the Minister of Finance in Ma- 
dridjto whose direction it was subject. 

" The Captain-General was the presiding officer of the 
City Council which had charge of the civic administra- 
tion of Havana, but he had only one vote, exactly as 
had every other member, and officially he had no power 
except to carry out the resolutions of the juntas. Un- 
officially, he controlled the city affairs absolutely. If 
occasion demanded he could act as the presiding officer of 
any city council. This power was exercised whenever he 
felt that the councils were growing too liberal in their 
ideas and actions, and enabled him to exercise a despotic 
power and coerce public opinion. 

Cuban leaders had no conception of the democratic 
form of government which in the United States gave sep- 
arate powers to the national, state or province and city 
administrations. The national government was closely 
linked with the provincial and with the city, and the 
functions were so intertwined that it was hard to say 
where one left off and the other began. The Captain- 
General always encouraged this close amalgamation of 
governmental functions because it enabled him to keep 
in close touch with all the branches of the government 
and to discover and put down any movements which 
would tend to diminish the power of the supreme officer. 


The Captain-General's power was civic, provincial, na- 
tional and indeed international. This enabled him very 
easily to line his coffers, for he spent a great deal of 
time in signing papers of no especial significance, except 
that to obtain his signature it was necessary that he be 
paid a big fee. It was said that any Captain-General 
who remained four years in Cuba, and did not take away 
from the island with him when he departed at least a 
million dollars, was a poor manager. 

The Captain-General had all prisons under his con- 
trol; and the fate of all prisoners, either those imprisoned 
for petty or state offenses, lay in his hands. This did not 
mean that he personally supervised the prisons, but that 
his creatures and officers were subject to his orders, and 
the offices were within his gift. Thus he was able to 
extort fees for various functions, as well as to demand 
largess for leniency extended to state prisoners. Under 
Tacon's administration this power was exercised to such 
an extent that it became a public scandal. 

The postal service also fell under the supervision of 
the Captain-General, and there were many ways in which 
he could make this office line his pockets. He acted as 
a police magistrate in the city of Havana, another fruit- 
ful source of revenue, particularly as the office was con- 
nected with that of president of the city council. 

Cuba was divided into three districts, the western, cen- 
tral and eastern. Havana was the capital of the west- 
ern district, Santiago de Cuba of the eastern and Puerto 
Principe of the central district. Each district had its 
governor who was directly under the Captain-General, 
and under the governor, in charge of the affairs of the 
larger towns and their out-lying districts, was a lieu- 
tenant-governor, who was president of the local council, 
and had control of military affairs for his district. Un- 


der the lieutenant-governors were captains, who were 
located in regions which were not very thickly settled, and 
who had absolute military power subject of course to 
commands emanating higher up over the affairs, lives 
and property of the people under their jurisdiction. 
Each of these officers received his appointment from the 
Spanish crown, but he was obliged to receive his nomina- 
tion from the Captain-General, so that these offices too 
were a source of revenue to that gentleman, and his nom- 
inees, when appointed, were subject to his control. The 
functions of the governors and lieutenant-governors 
were supposed to be primarily military, and they received 
the salary which would naturally attach to their rank, 
but since they also presided in civil and criminal cases 
in their jurisdictions, as did the Captain-General in 
Havana, the fees from these proceedings made very fat 
picking. Now the captains had no salary at all, and the 
style in which they were able to live depended on the 
number of fines they were able to impose, and there- 
fore it is not difficult to imagine that they were not easy 
on any Cubans who came under suspicion of any of- 
fense. They received one-third of all fines imposed by 

Each city in Cuba had its Ayuntamiento or council. 
In Puerto Principe there seem to have been elections for 
membership to this body, but in most cases seats were 
bought at enormous prices, and the receipts from such 
sale went into the Spanish treasury, although the Captain- 
General received his perquisite for allowing the transfer 
to be made. He also seems to have had some power of 
appointment, which was seldom made without pecuniary 
consideration, and there were some cases where mem- 
bers had hereditary rights to their seats. Not every town 
had its Ayuntamiento, but in most of the older towns they 

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The official residence of a long line of Spanish Governors and 
Captains-General is a large and handsome building of stone, tinted 
white and yellow, facing the Plaza de Armas from the east, and 
standing on the site of the original parish church of Havana. 
Within its walls occurred the memorable scene of the final abdica- 
tion of Spanish sovereignty in Cuba. It has now been replaced 
by the new Presidential Palace. 


existed. The Ayuntamiento elected its own mayor from 
among its members, but they were all subject to the con- 
trol of the Governor or Lieutenant Governor, who was in 
line of course subject to the Captain-General. 

Early in the reign of the Spaniards in Cuba, courts 
called Audiencias with both judicial and administrative 
functions had been established. They were not at all 
pleasing to the more arbitrary of the Captains-General 
for while they were subordinate to him, and their only 
restriction on his power was in a kind of advisory ca- 
pacity, yet they often reflected public opinion, and too, 
if their conclusions differed from that of the Captain- 
General, they were a moral curb upon his actions which 
he resented. The most ancient and honorable of these 
Audiencias was the one at Puerto Principe. It was the 
oldest in the island, and it strove to uphold its dignity 
by conducting its proceedings in the most formal and 
impressive manner, by adhering to the most ancient cus- 
toms. It was greatly reverenced by the people of the 
district, and the Captain-General felt that somehow it 
detracted from his glory, and from the respect which 
he felt should be accorded the commands of his in- 
ferior officers. Various Captains-General strove to abol- 
ish this court, and to turn its revenues into their own 

The judicial functions in criminal and civil suits were 
divided among many bodies, and there must have been 
great confusion, overlapping of authority, and conse- 
quent wrangling. Judicial powers were accorded to the 
Alcaldes Mayors, to the Captains, Lieutenant Governors, 
Governors, Captains-General, Audiencias, in some cases 
to juntas, and even to naval officers. Judges could con- 
demn, but they could not themselves be condemned. 
There was no way of curbing a wrongful exercise of their 


power, and even when their offenses were heinous they 
could not be disciplined through any democratic meas- 
ures. Civil prisoners were often taken from the juris- 
diction of the civil courts and tried by military tribunals. 
In the last resort, the Captain-General could always in- 
terfere, when he chose. 

The courts in Cuba at the middle of the nineteenth 
century were notoriously corrupt, and while the people 
feared them, in their gatherings in their homes they did 
not hesitate to condemn them. Justice was almost a dead 
letter. When a well known offender against the laws had 
influence with the Captain-General, or with some sub- 
ordinate official, the prosecuting attorneys would refuse 
to try him. The very source of the pay of the captains 
made it impossible for them to make a living without 
corruption, and an honest one would have been hard to 
find, while the governors and lieutenant-governors were 
of opinion that the only way to keep the people in sub- 
jection was to oppress and terrify them, and the only 
way for governors and lieutenant-governors to return to 
Spain with the proper amount of spoil was to exact it 
from the unfortunate Cubans. 

While the Captain-General was the supreme military 
authority, he was not the supreme commander of the 
naval forces, the latter being a separate office. This was 
due principally at least to the fact that all the naval forces 
of Spain in America were commanded from Havana, 
and all naval expeditions for the defense of Spain in 
South America were commanded and directed from that 
port. Therefore, it was necessary not only that the naval 
officer should be a person of importance and ability, but 
also that he should not be subordinate to the chief offi- 
cer of any one of the Spanish colonies. When Spain 
lost her large possessions in America, and only Cuba re- 


mained to her, then the office of naval commander was 
greatly curtailed in scope, and it was a matter of much 
irritation to the Captain General that there should be 
stationed in Cuba, or in Cuban waters, an official of equal 
rank with himself. 

Over the army the Captain-General held undisputed 
sway. There were quartered in Cuba in 1825 three 
regular army battalions, a brigade of artillery and one 
cavalry regiment. This army was supposed to be aug- 
mented by the local militia. In 1850 there were in the 
regular army sixteen battalions, two picked companies of 
veterans, twelve squadrons of cavalry, two brigades of 
artillery, and two light batteries. 

Cuba had reason to fear the success of an attack made 
from the southern coast of Florida, from Hayti or from 
Yucatan. The island lies in the midst of the gulf wa- 
ters, long and narrow in outline, and with miles of sea 
coast all out of proportion to its area. It was almost 
impossible adequately to patrol the coast and it would 
have been easy for an enemy to make a landing, pro- 
vided the leader of an expedition was familiar with the 
coasts. Means of communication were slow in those 
days, and particularly slow in Cuba because of her geo- 
graphical formation. If the attackers once entrenched 
themselves in the mountains, they were in a position to 
carry on an interminable guerrilla warfare. For these 
reasons, Spain would have felt that Cuba should be 
heavily garrisoned, even were it not also for the fact that 
the Cubans were growing so restless and crying so vocif- 
erously for liberty that Spain had reason to fear dangers 
both from within and without. 

People did not lightly express their opinions publicly 
in Cuba, particularly if those opinions were unfavorable 
to the government. Expressions unfavorable to the gov- 


ernment were never allowed to leak into print, for except 
for a short period in 1812, and another from 1820 to 
1823, the press was securely censored. The Captains- 
General who reigned during the nineteenth century were 
particularly careful that this censorship should be rigid 
and unbending. An American editor, Mr. Thrasher, was 
more daring than the native Cubans and his paper, El 
Faro Industrial, frequently contained matter which pro- 
voked the displeasure of the Captain-General. He had 
powerful connections and he was therefore unmolested 
until it was deemed that his comment on the death of 
General Ena, during the Lopez uprising, was too offen- 
sive, and the paper was suppressed. The Spanish inter- 
ests conducted the largest newspaper in Havana, El 
Diario de la Marina, which had a list of 6,000 subscrib- 
ers. Although this paper was avowedly Spanish in its 
sympathies and was conducted with Spanish money, it 
too was carefully watched by the censor. One day, it un- 
guardedly, or through a misjudgment, accepted for pub- 
lication an article implying that the interests of Cuba and 
the interests of Spain were not one and identical, and 
the entire edition was promptly suppressed by the censor. 

Not only was the local press carefully muzzled, but a 
watch was kept lest anything creep in from the United 
States, or from any other source, which might put no- 
tions in the heads of the Cubans that would divert their 
allegiance from Spain. The work of the censor was not 
an acceptable one for the United States, and the Amer- 
ican residents in Cuba did not take pleasantly to the 
suppression of the American papers, and friction on 
this score was constant. 

A paper called La Verdad, published in New York by 
Cuban sympathizers, came under the especial displeas- 
ure of the Captain-General and of the Spanish govern- 


ment in Madrid. Regarding it, the Spanish Secretary of 
Foreign Affairs wrote as follows to Calderon de la Barca, 
the Spanish minister at Washington, on January 2, 1848 : 

"Your excellency knows that the paper called La 
Verdad, published in New York, is printed with the spe- 
cific object of awakening among the inhabitants of Cuba 
and Porto Rico the sentiment of rebellion, and to propa- 
gate the idea of annexation to the United States. The 
Captain-General of the island, in fulfilment of his duty, 
prohibited the entrance and circulation of this newspaper 
in the island, and tried to investigate the ramifications in 
the island of this conspiracy against the rights of Spain, 
and against the peace of the country. As a result of 
the efforts made with this object, it was discovered that 
although not numerous, there were in Havana some 
wicked Spaniards charged with the task of collecting 
money to sustain the subversive publication, and to dis- 
tribute its copies to those who should care to read them." 

The Spanish government in Cuba did not look with 
favor upon foreigners. It thought that other countries, 
especially those adjacent to Cuba, were too tainted with 
liberal notions to render their inhabitants safe associates 
for the already restless Cubans. It therefore preferred 
that persons wishing to visit Cuba either remain quietly 
at home, or become Spanish citizens, subject to Spanish 
rule, -if they insisted on remaining on the island. On 
October 21, 1817, a Royal Order was issued dividing 
foreigners into three classes. First, transients, com- 
posed of those who were merely enjoying the unwilling 
hospitality of Spain in Cuba. A person could be re- 
garded as a transient for a period of only five years. 
After that he must either declare his intention of remain- 
ing in Cuba permanently or depart. Second, domiciled 
foreigners, who must declare their intention of remaining 


permanently in Cuba, must embrace the church by be- 
coming Roman Catholics, must forswear allegiance to 
their native country in favor of allegiance to Spain, and 
must agree to be subject to Spanish law exactly as native 
Cubans and Spaniards were subject to it. Third, citi- 
zens by naturalization, who were regarded as Spanish 
citizens in every sense of the word, and could be sure of 
the same unjust treatment which Spain accorded all sub- 
jects in her possessions. 

Now this subject of foreigners in Cuba was a complex 
one, because, beside the tendency among Americans to 
settle on the island, now that its rich resources were be- 
coming recognized, there were, in the middle of the 
nineteenth century, many Americans rushing to Cali- 
fornia to seek their fortunes in the gold fields. The fav- 
orite route was via Havana and Panama, and they nat- 
urally left their mark on the thought of the people with 
whom they came in contact. Beside this each year dur- 
ing the sugar harvest skilled mechanics ca^ne, to work on 
the plantations. This did not meet with the approval 
of those in command of the finances of the island, be- 
cause each of these visitors carried home with him every 
year from $1,000 to $1,500 on which he had paid no 
taxes. Such conduct was reprehensible, and it was en- 
tirely foreign to the policy or intent of any Captain-Gen- 
eral that anyone should get away with any money with- 
out being either taxed or fined for it. Besides, these ad- 
venturers, as they were contemptuously termed, were reg- 
ular mouthpieces of treason, and were said to talk of 
nothing else but freedom from. Spain by annexation. 
Naturally their coming was unpleasant to the high powers 
in Cuba. Now under the treaty of 1795, between Spain 
and the United States, provision was made that "in all 
cases of seizure, detention or arrest, for debts contracted, 


or offenses committed by any citizen or subject of the 
one party, within the jurisdiction of the other, the same 
shall be made and prosecuted by order of the law only, 
and according to the regular course of proceedings in 
such cases. The citizens and subjects of both parties 
shall be allowed to employ such advocates, solicitors, 
notaries, agents and factors as they may judge proper in 
all their affairs and in all their trials at law in which 
they may be concerned before the tribunals of the other 
party, and such agents shall have free access to be pres- 
ent at the proceedings in such cases and at the taking of 
all examinations and evidence which may be exhibited in 
the said trials." 

Americans charged with offenses against the Spanish 
government should have had the benefits of the rights 
given them under this treaty, but the government took 
refuge behind the fact that the Captain-General had no 
diplomatic functions, and Americans were frequently 
thrust into prison and allowed to remain there subject 
to much discomfort and to financial loss until Washing- 
ton and Madrid got the facts, and took the time to ar- 
range the matter. The Spanish Secretary for Foreign 
Affairs wrote to Calderon de la Barca, on this matter, as 
follows : 

"Your Excellency knows that the government of Her 
Majesty has always maintained the position with all for- 
eign powers that its colonies are outside of all the prom- 
ises and obligations undertaken by Spain in interna- 
tional agreements. With regard to Cuba, the discus- 
sions with England to this effect are well known, in 
which the Spanish Government has declared that the 
treaties which form the positive law of Spain had been 
adjusted in times when the Spanish colonies were closed 
to all foreign trade and commerce, and that when in 


1824, these colonies were opened to commerce of all other 
nations, they were not placed on equal footing with the 
home country, but were kept in the exceptional position 
of colonies. Of this exceptional position of that part 
of the Spanish dominions, no one has more proof than 
the foreign consuls, since it is evident to them that the 
Spanish government has only endured their presence on 
the condition that they should not exercise other func- 
tions than those of mere commercial agents. Thus in 
1845 the English government accepted formally the 
agreement that its consul should not demand the ful- 
fillment of treaties, not even of those which refer to the 
slave trade." 

The natural inference to be drawn from this was that 
Spain considered that foreigners who desired to live in 
Cuba must do so at their own peril, and that the Captain- 
General was above the trammeling bonds of international 
agreements in his dealing with interlopers who came to 
the island. But it must be borne in mind that the govern- 
ment of Cuba was administered not for the development 
of the island or the best good of its inhabitants, but ac- 
cording to the short sighted and stupid policies which 
seemed to Spain best calculated to prevent Cuba from 
slipping from her grasp as had her other colonies. 
Therefore, the main solicitude of each of the Captains- 
General was the subduing of the inhabitants by force, if 
necessary, the defense of the island from an enemy who 
might come by sea, and the lining of his own pockets 
while opportunity offered. 


VENEZUELA gave the struggling Spanish American 
colonies Bolivar, who was their liberator and their savior. 
In the same country was born, at the end of the eighteenth 
century, in 1798 or 1799, a child who fifty years later 
was to lay down his life on the altar of freedom for Cuba. 
This boy, like Bolivar, was of a wealthy and respected 
family. His father was the proprietor of a large estate 
which was stocked with cattle and horses and live stock 
of every kind. His mother had gentle and even aristo- 
cratic blood in her veins and she endeavored to bring up 
her children with high ideals of truth and honor. Nar- 
ciso Lopez, who was to fight so 
valiantly for enslaved Cuba, is 
reported to have been a boy who 
was born to command. He 
roamed the plains with the men 
from his father's ranch and they 
recognised him as a leader. He 
was a fine shot, a fearless rider, 
brave, energetic, resolute and 

When he was a boy of four- 
teen or fifteen his family moved 
to Caracas. His father had been stripped of his 
property -by the wars by which Venezuela was torn at that 
time, and consequently entered into commercial life, and 
soon established a business with many flourishing 
branches. Narciso must have been a lad of exceptional 
perspicuity and judgment, for his father placed him in 




charge of a branch establishment at Valencia. But a 
quiet commercial life, as quiet as the times would per- 
mit, did not please a boy who had the instincts and tastes 
of a soldier. Besides it probably would have been diffi- 
cult for anyone with any spirit to keep out of the turmoil 
which was threatening to engulf Valencia at that time. 
For the place was armed and garrisoned against the 
Spaniards, who under General Boves were advancing to 
attempt to take it. The natural leader of the Venezuelans 
was Bolivar, and although he had been routed, and had 
retired to reorganize his forces, he succeeded in getting 
word through to Valencia to hold the town at any cost. 
The Valencians were only too eager to obey these instruc- 
tions, because they well knew the devastation that inevi- 
tably followed in the wake of the Spanish army. They 
could not view with equanimity the picture of their town 
destroyed, their women ravished, little children killed, 
and men massacred or led away into captivity, and so 
they laid plans for a brave resistance. All of the val- 
uable property was collected from the houses into the 
public square. The town had no walls, so that the best 
that could be done was to barricade the approaches to 
this square and strive to defend it. 

The house where Lopez lived was situated in one corner 
of the square, and he soon found himself not only in the 
centre of the preparations, but, because of his resource- 
fulness and initiative, a recognized leader in the defen- 
sive operations. The elder Lopez was in town at the 
time, but while he did his part in preparing for the siege, 
it was the son who took command and who issued the 
orders to the father. For three weeks the little band of 
patriots held off the Spanish forces, sending runners 
through, whenever this could be done, with messages ask- 
ing Bolivar to hasten to their aid, and each day praying 


that help might reach them. But Bolivar was unable to 
do anything for them. Indeed his army was in such 
straits that it was a relief to him to have the Spanish 
leader turn his attention to the attack on Valencia and 
give an opportunity to rally his own forces. At the end 
of the third week the victorious Spaniards entered the 
town in triumph. The men were separated from the 
women, and were marked for a general slaughter that 
night while the decree went forth that the women were 
to be allowed to remain alive a little longer so that they 
might serve the pleasure of their conquerors. Narciso 
was not taken prisoner, because he was clever enough 
to hide himself with some negroes, who it was expected 
would be taken away into captivity by the Spaniards. 
Narciso was separated from his father, and was much 
concerned for the latter's safety, for the son readily pic- 
tured the horrible fate that might befall him ; and finally 
his fears grew so unbearable that he felt that anything 
rather than uncertainty would be welcome. He there- 
fore stole forth to reconnoiter and to see what he could 
discover. With him he took two old colored men who 
had been family servants. All night he searched, crawl- 
ing from house to house, under cover of the darkness, tak- 
ing advantage of every bit of cover, lying close to some 
friendly shelter to listen to the conversation of passing 
soldiers in the hope that he might gather some news. He 
was later to learn that his father had effected his escape, 
and that his own fruitless search through the dark watches 
of that interminable night was after all his own salva- 
tion. The next morning, when, worn out with exhaus- 
tion and half dead with fatigue, he and his companions 
dragged themselves back to the place where the slaves 
had been huddled, a ghastly sight met their eyes. The 
Spaniards for once had been false to their traditions. 


Perhaps they knew that these slaves had imbibed from 
their masters too much of the spirit of liberty to make good 
Spanish servants. At any rate there they lay upon the 
ground, eighty-seven of them, each with his throat slit 
from ear to ear. 

Now we come to a period of Lopez's career which it 
is difficult to harmonize with the whole story of his 
after life. The only plausible explanation seems to be 
that he was only a boy, and that Bolivar's army was suf- 
fering such reverses that the only way in which Lopez 
could save his own life was by joining forces with the 
Spaniards, which he did. One would have thought that 
after the valiant part he played in the defense of Valencia, 
he would cast his lot with the insurgents. No writer of 
the period gives us any real explanation of his course. 
But whatever the motive, Lopez became a Spanish sol- 
dier, a fact which later was to be of tremendous value to 
him, because it enabled him to visit Spain, to rise high in 
the service, to hold exalted positions in the Spanish court, 
and to obtain an insight into the cruelties and injustices 
perpetrated by the men who were the oppressors of the 
country which 'he was to adopt as his own, and the sal- 
vation of which he was to make his life work, which 
he could have gained in no other way. His action may 
have been precipitated by the fact that the people of Val- 
encia did not understand the straits in which Bolivar 
found himself, but felt that he had deliberately deserted 

Through the long struggle which ended in the evacua- 
tion of Caracas by Spain in 1823, Lopez fought with the 
Spaniards. So brilliant was his service that he was 
at the age of twenty-three given the rank of major. The 
story is told that early in the war, when he was a mere 
private, in an attack against a position which was de- 


fended by field works, the Spanish forces were divided, in 
an effort to take two bastions upon the capture of which 
victory depended. But there was not sufficient ammuni- 
tion, and that of one of the divisions became exhausted, 
so that it was necessary to obtain a fresh supply from 
the other division. This information was signaled, and 
the leader of that portion of the attackers which must now 
supply the other, called for volunteers. In order to get 
the relief through it was necessary to lead three mules, 
which were tied together Spanish fashion, the head of the 
second mule to the tail of the first one, and the head 
of the third to the tail of the second, past a position where 
they were exposed to the hot fire of the opposing army. 
Lopez volunteered. When he reached the most dan- 
gerous part of his course, the mule in the center was 
struck by the enemy's fire and fell dead. Lopez did not 
hesitate, but with the bullets singing about him the in- 
surgents in that party must have been singularly bad 
marksmen, or perhaps their guns were not of an efficient 
pattern he cut out the dead animal and, tying the two 
remaining mules together, safely reached his destination 
and delivered the ammunition to the commander. He 
was not injured, but his gun had been broken by a chance 
shot, his clothes were riddled with bullets, one of which 
had passed through his hat within an inch of his head, 
and both of his mules were so severely wounded that they 
had to be shot. His action gave the victory to the Span- 
ish. This exploit won for Lopez the offer of an officer's 
commission, but he was modest in his estimate of his own 
ability, and he felt that he was too young for the honor, 
and so he refused, with the request that he might be taken 
from the infantry and placed in the cavalry. So, in 
spite of his disposition to make light of his own achieve- 
ments, and almost against his own will, he found himself 


at nineteen the commander of a squadron of horsemen. 
It was a force of picked men, most of them older than 
Lopez, and it had the reputation of never having shown 
its back to the enemy. From the command of this com- 
pany, Lopez was elevated to the rank of major. 

Now Lopez had made many friends in the Spanish 
army. All through his career he had the ability to make 
men believe in him, love him and be ready to follow 
wherever he led. The high honors which had fallen to 
his lot seemed not to have incited jealousy among his 
companions; indeed on the other hand he was urged by 
his friends to apply for the cross of San Fernando, to 
which they believed he was entitled. Again that curious 
quality in Lopez which did not make him shrink from 
deeds of bravery, but which did make him draw back 
from demanding their reward, asserted itself. The cross 
of San Fernando was a very great honor, and it was not 
bestowed as a free gift, but when a man performed some 
action of unusual courage he might publicly demand it, 
and anyone in the army who cared to do so was free to 
enter their opposition, by proving, or trying to prove, that 
the deed for which the cross was demanded was not of 
such a character as to merit such a reward. In the whole 
Spanish army in Cuba at that time, only one individual 
had succeeded in obtaining the cross of San Fernando. 
While Lopez hesitated, his commander in chief, General 
Morillo, had the application drawn up and personally 
insisted that Lopez sign it. After a rigid inquiry into 
the merits of this petition, which was backed up by the 
endorsement of his comrades and of Morillo himself, the 
cross was granted. 

But it was no more than common justice that Morillo 
should take this stand, for far better than anyone else 


had he cause to be grateful for the bravery of this twenty- 
three year old boy. The larger part of the Spanish army 
at this time was infantry, while the army of the insurgents 
was largely cavalry. The natives knew the country, and 
were able to carry on a successful guerrilla warfare, with- 
out allowing the Spaniards to engage them in open battle. 
This harassed the Spaniards, wore down their morale, 
and slowly but surely decimated their forces. Morillo, 
well knowing this, was pursuing the insurgents, in a 
vain attempt to join them in conflict. Lopez at this time 
was in charge of his cavalry company, which had been 
almost exterminated in a conflict that morning. Only a 
little band of thirty-eight men remained. Morillo was 
not aware of the catastrophe which had overtaken Lopez's 
command, and did not know how greatly it had been re- 
duced in numbers. He therefore issued orders that it gal- 
lop forward to attack the enemy in the rear, with an idea 
of forcing them to face about and give battle. The en- 
gagement took place on the plains, and the handful of 
men could be plainly discerned by the enemy as they rode 
to obey their commanding officer. General Paez, who 
was in command of the Venezuelans, sent a corps of 300 
men to repel the thirty-eight cavalrymen. Neither Lopez 
nor his men faltered, for they must live up to their tradi- 
tions. Lopez ordered them to dismount and engage the 
advancing enemy on foot, using lances and carbines in 
the attack. Morillo soon discovered what was in prog- 
ress and sent reinforcements, and Lopez's men held their 
position until aid reached them. 

When this war was over and freedom had been won 
an extraordinary thing happened. The patriot govern- 
ment invited this young man, who had fought against 
them, to enter their service with the same rank which he 


had held in the Spanish army. This he declined, and 
when evacuation took place he retired with the Spanish 
army to Cuba, in 1823. 

Lopez married a very charming Cuban, adopted Cuba 
as his native land, and gave up his position in the army. 
Perhaps the cruelty of the Spanish government in Cuba 
may have awakened him to the nature of the organiza- 
tion which he was serving. He was at heart a man who 
loved freedom, who was impatient of unjust restraint, 
who loved his fellow men and could not bear to see them 
suffer injustice. Spain was afraid that her officers might 
be led away by the spirit of democracy which was creat- 
ing such havoc in her possessions in America. When ab- 
solutism was again restored in Spain, and the constitu- 
tion of 1812 was for the second time overthrown, she 
required her officers in Cuba publicly to adjure liber- 
alism, and to take an oath to stand by the Spanish rule 
in the colony. This Lopez could not bring himself to do, 
and so he remained in retirement. 

Affairs in Spain underwent a change, for King Fer- 
dinand died and immediately a contest for the control of 
the government was on between his widow, Maria Cris- 
tina, as regent for her infant daughter, Isabel, and Don 
Carlos, who was the brother of the deceased king, and 
who declared that under the Salic law the crown belonged 
to him. War between the two factions seemed imminent, 
and the Spanish people were war weary, when the Queen 
regent conceived a brilliant plan. She felt sure that the 
will of the people was with her, since she represented the 
liberal party as against Don Carlos who was at the head 
of the absolutists and whose accession of power would 
mean new oppressions. Maria Cristina therefore issued 
a proclamation calling on the people, if they loved their 
country and wished to save her from civil war, to join in 


disarming the absolutists. This movement was well or- 
ganized and a day was set for the disarmament to take 
place all over the kingdom. It seems almost incredible, 
but it was successful, and from one end of Spain to 
the other there were over six hundred thousand stacks of 
arms taken from the Carlists by the people of the liberal 

Now while this action was being planned and executed, 
Lopez happened to be in Spain. He had gone to the 
court at Madrid with his wife to endeavor to have restitu- 
tion made to her of large sums of money which the gov- 
ernment of Cuba had unjustly taken from her family. 
Unfortunately there are no records which disclose whether 
his diplomacy was great enough to persuade Spain to re- 
turn any money which had once gotten into her coffers. 
However, Lopez had grown to understand Cuban affairs 
by this time well enough to know that if the liberals were 
successful it might mean the reestablishment of the con- 
stitution of 1812, and the dawn of better days for Cuba; 
but on the other hand, should the Carlists triumph, Cuba 
was bound to be more fiercely ground beneath the heel of 
tyranny and oppressions. Lopez loved his adopted coun- 
try, and so he at once took command of a body of liberals 
who were being hard pressed by a company of the na- 
tional guard, part of which had sided with Don Carlos. 
He rallied the little band, filled them with new courage 
and enthusiasm, and all day he worked with them, some- 
times in company with other men and often alone, driving 
before him companies of Carlists, forcing them to go to 
the guardhouse of the liberals and surrender their 
weapons. When news of this conduct reached royal ears, 
Lopez was made first aide-de-camp to General Valdez, 
who was commander in chief of the liberal forces, that 
same Valdez who was destined later to become Captain- 


General of Cuba. A strong friendship sprang up be- 
tween the two men, a bond which was never broken, and 
which Lopez respected so much that he later deferred 
action against the Spanish government in Cuba until 
after Valdez had relinquished the office of Captain-Gen- 
eral. Indeed, it was through the influence of Lopez at 
the court of Spain that Valdez became Captain-General. 
Valdez had many reasons for being grateful to Lopez, 
for during the war which followed between the forces of 
the queen and those of Carlos, at one crisis a surprise 
attack when the troops were about to flee Lopez placed 
himself in command and led them to victory. On an- 
other occasion Valdez, who had his headquarters in the 
little village of Durango, had dispatched the main por- 
tion of his army against the forces of the enemy, retaining 
with him only a few picked men. Suddenly he found 
himself almost surrounded by the Carlists, who had seized 
the hills by which the village was enclosed. It was neces- 
sary that someone carry news of the situation to the main 
army and obtain relief. Lopez, who was then a colonel, 
signified his willingness to undertake the task, and in- 
deed claimed that it was his right as first aide-de-camp 
to command the rescuing party which he intended to bring 
back with him. Valdez was loath to let him go, for he 
felt that success was problematic, and that the expedition 
meant almost certain death for his friend. But there 
was no alternative, and so at last he consented. Lopez 
set forth on horseback with one servant attending him. 
When they approached the enemy, they signalled that 
they were deserters, with valuable information to impart. 
They were allowed to approach without being fired on, 
and when they came abreast of the opposing forces, they 
set spurs to their horses, ran the gauntlet of a shower of 


bullets, and escaped unhurt, bearing the news of Valdez's 
perilous position to his main army. 

So great was Lopez's valor and fearlessness, and so 
high a reputation had he for honor and fair dealing, that 
he was respected by the Carlists as well as by his own 
party. At the end of this struggle he was accorded the 
rank of General in the Spanish army, and was loaded 
with honors, having the crosses of Isabella Catolica and 
St. Hermengilda bestowed upon him, and being ap- 
pointed commander in chief of the National Guard of 
Spain. He stood high in the regard of the Queen Re- 
gent, but he grew to know her as she was, a cold, selfish 
plotter, and when she was finally expelled from the re- 
gency Lopez regarded it as a cause for rejoicing, even 
though his own career might be expected to suffer. But 
the regard in which he was held was too great for this to 
come to pass, and after the insurrection which deposed 
Maria Cristina he was offered and accepted the post of 
Governor of Madrid. 

Lopez also served Spain as a senator from the city of 
Seville. He was present in the Cortes when the Cuban 
delegates who were elected during the conflict of wills be- 
tween General Lorenzo and Captain-General Tacon, and 
who escaped to Spain and attempted to claim their seats 
in the Cortes, were rejected. Perhaps more than any- 
thing else in his career, Lopez's service as senator opened 
his eyes to the vile condition of Spanish politics, and the 
methods which were used in ruling the colonies. He 
was always on the side of the oppressed, he hated injus- 
tice, and so, then and there, the love of liberty which had 
always been a part of his character took concrete form in 
a resolve to be the liberator of Cuba. 

When Valdez set forth to take over the command in 


Cuba, he had earnestly requested that Lopez be allowed 
to accompany him, but on the plea that there was im- 
portant work for him to do in Spain, Lopez was not al- 
lowed to depart. It may be that in spite of the fight 
which he had made to maintain the unity of the Spanish 
kingdom, the astute and crafty Spanish statesmen sus- 
pected his loyalty, for it was reported that during Tacon's 
administration in Cuba, Lopez had entered into a con- 
spiracy to obtain freedom for the island, and had pub- 
licly toasted "free Cuba" at a banquet. This seems more 
like a story which might have been born of Tacon's mean 
jealousy and fear for his own power, and nurtured by his 
vivid imagination when he sought to harm an enemy. It 
does not seem credible that Lopez, who had not yet 
openly thrown in his fortunes with the liberals in Cuba, 
would have been so foolish as to expose himself to the 
vengeance of a Captain-General who he had good rea- 
son to know would let nothing stand in his way when he 
sought to tear a rival in court favor from a high place. 
Be this as it may, the story was current in Spain, and 
while it seems not to have harmed Lopez's popularity 
with the people or with the court, it did prevent his ac- 
companying Valdez to Cuba at this time. Lopez's abil- 
ity to make friends, however, a little later stood him in 
good stead. He had won the liking and indeed the warm 
affection of Espartero, the leader at this time of the liberal 
party in Spain, and the influence of Espartero finally 
made it possible for Lopez to return to Havana, in 1839. 
The friendship between Valdez and Lopez remained 
warm, and Valdez appointed Lopez President of the Mili- 
tary Commission, Governor of Trinidad, and Com- 
mander-in-chief of the Central Department of the Island. 
Now rumors that a revolution was imminent began to be 


generally circulated. No one could tell the source from 
which they sprang, but they seemed to be in the atmos- 
phere, and were the constant subject of whispered con- 
versations in the cafes and restaurants and in the houses 
of the liberals. 

When Valdez relinquished the Captain-Generalship, 
and O'Donnell began his infamous rule, Lopez felt him- 
self released from all obligations to the government. 
Every particle of Spanish sympathy had long since been 
purged from his heart, and his honors from such a source 
had become irksome. He had refrained from actively 
plotting against Spain while Valdez was ruling over 
Cuba, his friendship for Valdez making him unwilling 
to embarrass him. This curb removed, Lopez gladly re- 
linquished his offices and retired to his own estates. He 
was not nearly so successful as a business man as he was 
as a soldier, and the business enterprises which he under- 
took proved to be failures. But he took over the manage- 
ment of some copper mines and these were used as bases 
for the organization of the attempt to free Cuba which 
was now beginning to take form and shape in his mind. 
He mingled with the people quietly and endeavored, suc- 
cessfully, to win their esteem and liking. The district in 
which the mines were located was settled mainly by men 
who were always in the saddle. Now Lopez was a fine 
horseman. There were no deeds of horsemanship which 
they might perform which he could not duplicate or im- 
prove upon. He thus soon won a popular following, 
and this curiously enough without attracting the par- 
ticular attention of the Captain-General or his spies, and 
became a hero to the men among whom he dwelt. They 
were all indebted to him for deeds of kindness, for no 
man in difficulties ever appealed to Lopez's purse in vain. 


Thus he acquired an influence which made him confident 
that should he speak the word the countryside would rally 
with him under the banner of revolt against Spain. 

Now Lopez wa-s not particularly interested in the eman- 
cipation of the slaves. He thought that they were neces- 
sary for the successful cultivation of the island, and he 
could not successfully visualize a free black population. 
He felt that a Cuba unbound by any ties to any other 
nation meant free blacks. He therefore favored annexa- 
tion to the United States. He took the American Consul 
at Havana, Robert Campbell, into his confidence, and 
asked his advice. Campbell was in favor of annexation 
by the United States and expressed his opinion that the 
majority of the American people, especially those in the 
southern states, were heartily in favor of the United States 
taking over Cuba; but he also called Lopez's attention 
to the numerous treaty obligations binding the United 
States and Spain together, and assured him that what- 
ever secret support he might hope to gain from that coun- 
try, he (Campbell) certainly would not officially come out 
and sanction any movement to free Cuba from Spain. 
He felt that if Lopez by revolution could perform the 
operation and sever the bonds which bound Cuba to 
Spain, the United States might reasonably be expected 
not to refuse the gift of the island were it offered to her. 

Lopez at once began actively to outline his plans for 
a revolution, and secret headquarters were established at 
Cienfuegos, while the organization was extended to other 
parts of the island. 


LOPEZ planned to begin the uprising for the freedom 
of Cuba on June 24, 1848. He had enlisted the sym- 
pathy and secret cooperation of many men in the United 
States, chiefly in the southern part of that country, and 
looked to them to provide him with the needed arms and 
ammunition. There was no lack of readiness on their 
part to respond to his needs in this respect, but there was 
much difficulty in transporting such supplies from the 
United States to Cuba. Whatever the personal senti- 
ments of the officers of the American government, they 
were required publicly to do all in their power to prevent 
illicit traffic ; while of course the Spanish officials in Cuba 
were vigilant to prevent the landing of any such cargoes. 
The result was that sufficient supplies did not reach Cuba 
in time for an uprising on the appointed date. 

The delay was fatal. It afforded opportunity for be- 
trayal. Among the followers of Lopez in Cuba was one 
Jose Sanchez Yznaga, a mere lad of tender years. He 
could not resist the temptation to boast to his mother of 
the great enterprise in which he was to take part, and 
she, drawing from him all the details of the conspiracy, 
repeated the story to her husband. Forthwith he gave 
information of it to the authorities; reputedly in order 
to prevent his son from getting into mischief. Lopez, un- 
conscious of what had happened, was "invited" by the 
Governor of Cienfuegos to call upon him, on a matter 
of important business, and was actually on his way to 
keep the engagement when he learned of the betrayal. 
Instantly he changed his course, and instead of going to 




Cienfuegos he took train for Cardenas and thence a coast- 
ing vessel for Matanzas. At the latter port he was so 
fortunate as to find the steamer Neptune just starting for 
New York. She had room for another passenger and 
he got aboard without detection by the Spanish officers 
who were in quest of him. The boy Yznaga also es- 
caped arrest. Apparently the names of the other con- 
spirators were not disclosed, or else there was no convinc- 
ing evidence against them. At any rate, none of them 
were imprisoned or punished in any way. But Lopez 
himself was tried in absentia and was condemned to 
death, on March 2, 1849; and Yznaga, also absent, was 
condemned to six years' imprisonment. 

It was in July, 1848, that Narciso Lopez reached New 
York, a fugitive from Spanish wrath. There he found 
that various Cuban Juntas had been formed in the United 
States, and that a well-organized campaign for the an- 
nexation of Cuba was being pushed. This movement 
was not, of course, approved officially by the United States 
government; but neither were any extraordinary efforts 
made to suppress or to discourage it. Several Senators 
of the United States did not hesitate to make speeches in 
the Senate in favor of annexation; some of them advo- 
cating its forcible achievement if Spain declined to make 
the cession peacefully. Several of the foremost news- 
papers also openly espoused the cause. Improving the 
opportunity presented to him by these circumstances, 
Lopez sought some prominent American, politician or sol- 
dier, who would identify himself with the Cuban revolu- 
tion and would place himself at its head. Some of his 
first and strongest efforts were directed toward getting 
Jefferson Davis, then a Senator and afterward President 
of the Confederate States, to take command of the expe- 
dition which he purposed to fit out ; and he offered to place 


the sum of $100,000 in a New York bank to the credit of 
Mrs. Davis as an inducement. Davis considered the 
offer and then declined it; sending Lopez, however, to 
Major Robert Edward Lee, of the United States army, 
afterward of the Confederate army, as a more likely can- 
didate. Lee, however, also refused the invitation, for 
reasons which Jefferson Davis afterward set forth as 
follows : 

"He came from Mexico crowned with honors, covered 
by brevets and recognized, young as he was, as one of the 
ablest of his country's soldiers, and to prove that he was 
estimated then as such, I may mention that when he was 
a Captain of engineers, stationed at Baltimore, the Cuban 
Junta in New York selected him to be their leader in the 
revolutionary effort on that island. They were anxious 
to secure his services, and offered him every temptation 
that ambition could desire, and pecuniary emoluments 
far beyond any which he could hope otherwise to acquire. 
He thought the matter over, and, I remember, came to 
Washington to consult me as to what he should do. After 
a brief discussion of the complex character of the military 
problem which was presented he turned from the consider- 
ation of that view of the question by stating that the point 
on which he wished particularly to consult me, was as to 
the propriety of entertaining the proposition which had 
been made to him. He had been educated in the service 
of the United States, and felt it wrong to accept place in 
the army of a foreign power while he held a commission." 

Contributions to the amount of $70,000 were made in 
the United States to help to finance the expedition, and 
$30,000 more was sent from Cuba. Lopez had long in- 
terviews with many men who stood high in American 
affairs, and he was assured by them that if the semblance 
of a real revolution was created, the United States might 


be expected to intervene and to annex the island. Re- 
cruiting was quietly going on in several parts of the 
United States. There was little concealment about the 
methods or plans, and Spanish spies who were closely 
following the leaders in the movement were able to report 
very accurately to the Captain-General in Cuba and to the 
Spanish minister at Washington, Senor Calderon de la 
Barca, exactly what was going on. These two gentlemen 
organized a small counter movement and expended large 
sums of money extracted from the Cuban treasury to balk 
the plans of the revolutionists. Promises of generous 
pay, however, lured large numbers of adventurers into 
the ranks of Lopez's party. Those who enlisted were 
promised $1,000, and five acres of land, if the expedition 
was triumphant, and pay equal to that of a private in 
the United States army in any event. 

Headquarters for the recruits were established at Cat 
Island, but the little army was dispersed by the United 
States authorities, and then the gathering place was 
changed to Round Island, near the city of New Orleans, 
where Col. G. W. White, a veteran of the Mexican war, 
was in charge. The number of men who were assembled 
under Col. White, ready to sail for Cuba, was reported 
to be from 5 50 to 800. 

While all these preparations were going on, there was 
an incident in Havana which threatened seriously to em- 
broil Spain with the United States. The prison at Ha- 
vana was holding two men, Villaverde, who was under 
arrest for sedition against Spain, and Fernandez, who 
had been condemned to imprisonment for fraudulent acts 
in connection with a bankruptcy proceeding. One of the 
jailors was Juan Francisco Garcia Rey, an American 
citizen, and he aided these prisoners to escape, Villaverde 
going to Savannah, while Fernandez went with Rey to 


New Orleans. Rey was soon trailed by Spanish spies 
and he was either tricked into going on board a Spanish 
sailing vessel or else he was forced to do so, and hurried 
off to Cuba with no property but the clothes which he 
wore. When the vessel reached Cuba, the United States 
consul went on board, but the men who were guarding 
Rey forced him to state that he had arrived in Cuba volun- 
tarily. The vessel was held in quarantine for some time, 
and immediately after it was released, Rey was placed 
in solitary confinement ; from which however he managed 
to get a letter through to the American consul, which 
read as follows: 

"My name is Juan Garcia Rey; I was forced by the 
Spanish consul to leave New Orleans. I demand the 
protection of the American flag and I desire to return to 
the United States. 

"P.S. I came here by force, the Spanish consul having 
seized me under a supposed order of the Second Munici- 
pality and having had me carried by main force on board 
a ship at nine in the evening. 

"P.S. I did not speak frankly to you because the 
Captain of the port was present." 

The request which the American consul promptly made 
for an interview with Rey was denied, and at this point 
the United States government interested itself in the case 
and made an official demand for the return of Rey. Re- 
lations between the United States and Spain were growing 
very much strained and it looked as if the United States 
were soon to have an excuse to fight Spain and to annex 
Cuba, when the Spanish government suddenly suffered a 
change of heart, and Rey was pardoned and released. 

Meanwhile the plans for the invasion of Cuba were 
being carried out so openly that the Spanish minister 
protested, and Zachary Taylor, then President of the 


United States, being unwilling openly to affront Spain, 
through his Secretary of State, John M. Clayton, issued 
on August 11, 1849, a proclamation which ran as follows: 
"There is reason to believe that an armed expedition 
is about to be fitted out in the United States with an in- 
tention to invade the Island of Cuba, or some of the prov- 
inces of Mexico. The best information which the execu- 
tive has been able to obtain, points to the Island of Cuba 
as the object of this expedition. It is the duty of this 
government to observe the faith of treaties, and to prevent 
any aggression by our citizens upon the territories of 
friendly nations. I have, therefore, thought it necessary 
and proper to issue this proclamation, to warn all citizens 
of the United States who shall connect themselves with 
an enterprise so grossly in violation of our laws and treaty 
obligations, that they will thereby subject themselves to 
the heavy penalties denounced against them by our Acts 
of Congress, and will forfeit their claim to the protection 
of their country. No such persons must expect the in- 
terference of this government in any form on their behalf, 
no matter to what extremities they may be reduced in con- 
sequence of their conduct. An enterprise to invade the 
territories of a friendly nation, set on foot and prosecuted 
within the limits of the United States, is in the highest 
degree criminal, as tending to endanger the peace and 
compromise the honor of this nation, and therefore I ex- 
hort all good citizens, as they regard our national reputa- 
tion, as they respect their own laws and the laws of na- 
tions, as they value the blessings of peace and the welfare 
of their country, to discountenance and prevent, by all 
lawful means, any such enterprise; and I call upon every 
officer of this government, civil or military, to use all 
efforts in his power to arrest for trial and punishment 
every such offender against the laws providing for the 


performance of our sacred obligations to friendly powers." 
This proclamation did not find favor in the Southern 
States, where sentiment was strongly in favor of the an- 
nexation of Cuba as a bar against the freeing of the 
slaves. All the while the United States government was 
officially discountenancing the expedition, private citizens 
were aiding it, and again Spain protested and the Ameri- 
can government dispatched the steamer Albany with offi- 
cers to investigate the state of matters at Round Island, to 
see that no supplies reached the island, and to prevent the 
expedition from starting. Two ships, the Sea Gull and 
the New Orleans, had been purchased in New York to 
take the expedition to Cuba, and these were promptly 
seized, but the fifty men on one of them were not prose- 
cuted, and while warrants were issued for the five leaders 
they were never apprehended, and the ships were simply 
returned to their owners. Public opinion was too much 
in favor of aid for Cuba to make it feasible for the United 
States government to place itself in the position of being 
inimical to Cuban interests, while on the other hand that 
Government felt that it could not afford openly to an- 
tagonize Spain. 

The Cuban organization in New York presently showed 
signs of discouragement and disintegration, and Lopez 
in consequence transferred his operations to the south, 
principally to New Orleans, where sentiment was warmly 
in favor of his plans. There the next year he renewed his 
efforts to organize an expedition to Cuba. Even more 
generous offers of bounty were made than in the previous 
case. Recruits were promised $4,000, and when they 
had served a year they were to be rewarded by a grant of 
land in Cuba; this in addition to their regular pay. 
Those who should attain the rank of officers were prom- 
ised up to $10,000, and also high rank in the new gov- 


eminent which the revolutionists were to organize in 
Cuba. Lopez was always conscious of the advantage of 
having men of prominence connected with his enterprises, 
and he endeavored to persuade Governor Quitman of 
Mississippi to take command, but that gentleman ex- 
pressed himself as believing that only an internal revolu- 
tion could be effective in Cuba and that any invasion 
from without must fail, and, accordingly, he declined the 

Numerous recruits were obtained in various parts of 
the United States. While interest in it was strongest in 
the South, many men in the North and West were ready, 
for one reason or another, to cast in their lot with Lopez. 
An important rallying point was Cincinnati, Ohio, and 
from that city a party of 120 men started southward on 
April 4, 1850, on the river steamer Martha Washington, 
which had been chartered for the purpose. A stop was 
made at a point on the Kentucky shore, and more men 
were there taken aboard. The trip down to New Orleans 
consumed a week, which time was spent by the men in 
card-playing, carousing and indeed almost everything 
save serious reflection upon the momentous undertaking 
before them. There were a few among them of earnest 
purpose ; and when the expedition was completed at New 
Orleans it comprised a number of men of high character 
and standing, members of some of the foremost families 
of that part of the United States. But the majority of 
the recruits were adventurers of the type familiar in most 
such undertakings. To them the enterprise meant not 
so much the freeing of Cuba from Spanish oppression 
as it meant getting "easy money," the fun of seeing a new 
country, good food, and if the worst happened ... it 
was on the knees of the gods. 

It was April 11 when the boat reached Freeport, a 


town a few miles up the river from New Orleans, where 
the men were hidden ; or supposed to be hidden, for little 
secrecy was attained, Spanish spies and United States 
citizens being equally aware of their presence. There 
were two hundred and fifty men in the party, and on 
April 25 they set sail for Cuba on the Steamer Georgiana, 
with a supply of muskets and 10,000 rounds of ammuni- 
tion, which however did not come on board until after the 
mouth of the Mississippi was passed. Lopez himself was 
not with this company, for his work of organization was 
not completed, and he remained behind to join them 

A second company of about 160 men was organized in 
New Orleans, and set sail on May 2, on the Susan Loud, 
and a third company was to follow on the Creole. On 
May 6 the Susan Loud reached the place where she was 
to meet the Creole, and she raised the new flag of Cuba 
for the first time on the Gulf of Mexico. Here she was 
joined the next day by the Creole and another day was 
taken up in transferring the men from one vessel to the 
other, the Creole being much the faster of the two; the 
idea being that the slower boat could follow at leisure. 
On the Creole there were only 130, making 290 men in 
this portion of the expedition. The newcomers on the 
Creole were for the first time introduced to their com- 
mander, Lopez, and it is recorded that he promptly won 
all hearts by his pleasing personality. 

A light-hearted spirit of adventure at first prevailed 
among the crews and the men, until a storm arose on 
May 12, and the company began to be less cheerful; 
many were sick, and the wind and clouds had a depress- 
ing effect on the others. To add to the general dismay 
and discomfort, a gun was accidentally discharged, and 
one of the company was killed. An unpleasant forebod- 


ing began to cast a blight over the gay company. Evil 
days had also attended the Georgiana. She met with 
foul weather, and had great difficulty in reaching the 
island of Contoy, about ten miles off the coast of Yuca- 
tan. This island was uninhabited and without vegeta- 
tion, a blank waste of sand, with no water for drinking 
purposes. The men were discontented and mutiny 
seemed imminent. An unsuccessful attempt was made 
to reach Mujeres, and then mutiny in earnest broke out, 
led by Captain Benson, one of the leaders of the company. 
He instigated the circulation of a petition for a return to 
New Orleans, and between fifty and sixty signatures were 
obtained. Fortunately Lopez had one faithful follower 
in the company, an eloquent and brave man. This was 
Colonel Theodore O'Hara, a veteran of the Mexican War 
and author of the classic poem, "The Bivouac of the 
Dead." He assembled the men and asked them to agree 
to wait eight days longer, and spoke so feelingly that 
finally the promise was given with cheers for Lopez, for 
Cuba, and for the annexation of the island. Before fur- 
ther trouble could come to pass, the Creole was sighted. 
When she reached the island it was thought best that she 
should proceed to Mujeres, obtain water, and return the 
next day. This was done, and when he returned, Lopez 
issued the following proclamation to his men: 

" Soldiers of the liberating expedition of Cuba! Our 
first act on arriving shall be the establishment of a pro- 
visional constitution, founded on American principles, 
and adopted to the emergencies of the occasion. This 
constitution you will unite with your brethren of Cuba 
in swearing to support in its principles as well as on the 
field of battle. You have been chosen by your officers 
as men individually worthy of so honorable an undertak- 
ing. I rely implicitly on your presenting Cuba to the 


world, a signal example of all the virtues, as well as 
the valor of the American citizen soldiers; and I cannot 
be deceived in my confidence that by our discipline, good 
order, moderation in victory, and sacred respect for all 
private rights, you will put to shame every insolent 
calumny of your enemies. And when the hour arrives 
for repose on the laurels which await your grasp, you 
will all, I trust, establish permanent and happy homes 
in the beautiful soil of the island you go to free, and 
there long enjoy the gratitude which Cuba will never fail 
generously to bestow on those to whom she will owe the 
sacred and immeasurable debt of her liberty." 

Now the Creole was not a new vessel, and was sadly in 
need of repairs. When the nearly six hundred men from 
the three boats were all on board her for the plan was 
that only one ship should be actively engaged in the inva- 
sion she took water, and some of the men were afraid. 
There were desertions at Mujeres and Contoy which re- 
duced the force to five hundred and twenty-one. The 
men were packed in all parts of the ship, on deck, in the 
cabin, in the hold, in every available corner. It was im- 
possible to keep discipline, to say nothing of holding drill 
practice. The Creole was fortunate enough to be driven 
by adverse winds far north of the course which she had 
planned, because she thus escaped two Spanish war ships 
which had been sent out to apprehend and sink her. 
Thus from near the shore of Yucatan the adventurers 
sailed over practically the same course which in the days 
of Cortez had been traversed by the Spanish treasure ships 
from Mexico to Cuba and to Spain. The plan was to 
land at Cardenas, and march at once to Matanzas, thirty 
miles distant, which it was believed could be reached in 
24 hours and where the railroad was to be seized. It was 
here that it was expected that the recruiting would be 


heaviest, for Lopez believed that the Cubans would recog- 
nize them as liberators, welcome them with rejoicing, and 
at once enlist under the new banner of freedom. One 
hundred picked men would promptly be despatched to 
blow up an important bridge, nine miles from Havana, 
and meanwhile Lopez expected his force of five hundred 
to be swelled to five thousand. Indeed he dreamed of 
attacking the city of Havana with an armed force of 30,- 
000. He had plenty of ammunition and guns and he an- 
ticipated no difficulty in enlisting an army from among 
the Cubans who desired freedom from Spain. 


CARDENAS was chosen as the place of landing probably 
for two reasons. First, because the Cubans of this dis- 
trict were supposed to be exceedingly dissatisfied with 
Spanish rule more disgruntled than the inhabitants of 
the other parts of the island, because the people of Car- 
denas had been given their own particular grievances by 
the Spanish garrison; and in the second place, the gar- 
rison at this point was exceedingly small, and the town 
was situated on a bay the entrance to which, like the coast 
for many miles, was undefended by fortifications. Lopez 
therefore believed that he could penetrate the harbor with 
little difficulty and no opposition. 

It was half past two in the morning when the Creole 
entered the bay of Cardenas, and her progress was not 
altogether free from difficulties. The captain of the 
Creole was unfamiliar with the waters of the bay, and 
found it difficult to steer a safe course. As a matter of 
fact, the vessel was grounded, and delayed for nearly an 
hour, during which time her presence was observed by 
Spanish patrols, and the alarm given. Dawn was break- 
ing in the east when the landing was made. It bade fair 
to be a beautiful morning. The air was soft and clear, 
and the first rays of sunshine, brightening the roofs of the 
houses, sent a note of cheer into the hearts of the little 
army of those who were seeking to deliver Cuba, and 
seemed an omen of good fortune. 

Reports differ as to their reception. One account tells 
of a large Spanish force drawn up on the shore, through 
which they had to fight their way, but which they quickly 



dispersed. It is more in accord with the events which 
followed to give credence to another story, which has it 
that the Spanish troops took refuge in the barracks, while 
a smaller number were quartered in the Governor's 

The Kentuckians, soldiers of fortune, descendants of 
pioneers, whose valor had been tested and not found want- 
ing in the warfare which had taken place from time 
to time in their own state, were the first to land. There 
were sixty of them, under the command of Lieut. Col. 
Pickett, and their instructions were to proceed at once to 
the railroad station. Lopez knew that large bodies of 
Spanish troops were quartered at Matanzas, which was 
connected by railroad with Cardenas, and his purpose was 
to destroy the station, and if possible the line of the rail- 
road for some distance, to prevent the arrival of rein- 
forcements to the Spaniards, should the news of the com- 
ing of the filibusters be sent to Matanzas. This action 
would also necessitate communications by courier, which, 
of course, would be productive of a delay which would be 
advantageous to Lopez's plan. 

The station was captured without any difficulty, indeed 
without opposition, and the little body of Kentucky_sol- 
diers began their work of destruction. That because of 
lack of numbers, or lack of equipment, they did not ac- 
complish this efficiently enough to prevent the arrival of 
Spanish troops at Cardenas, we shall see later. But at 
any rate, they proceeded with zeal and enthusiasm to 
the work which was allotted to them, and held the station 
against the few Spanish troops from the Cardenas garri- 
son which later attempted to wrest it from them, and when 
they relinquished it they did so voluntarily, to join their 
comrades in retreating to the Creole, Indeed they man- 
fully held their positions, long after many of the other 


regiments had been withdrawn, in ordet to cover the 

The moment Lieutenant Colonel Pickett and his Ken- 
tuckians were clear of the vessel, General Lopez and 
his staff, and Colonel O'Hara, with the remainder of the 
Kentucky regiment, disembarked, and with great cere- 
mony, for the first time, the flag of Cuba Libre was un- 
furled on Cuban soil. General Lopez remained with his 
ship, to oversee the landing of the remainder of his little 
army, while Colonel O'Hara, under orders, advanced to 
take the barracks where four hundred Spanish troops were 
garrisoned. The Kentuckians under Colonel O'Hara 
numbered one hundred and eighty, and in addition he was 
reinforced by the Louisiana regiment of one hundred and 
thirty, and the Mississippi regiment of one hundred and 
forty-five, so that he had in all, for the business in hand, 
four hundred and fifty-five men, thus outnumbering the 
Spanish force which they were to oppose, by about fifty- 
five men. They advanced rapidly and charged the gar- 
rison, which promptly opened fire, and Colonel O'Hara 
was wounded, not seriously, but sufficiently so that he was 
obliged to surrender his command to Major Hawkins. 
The engagement was resumed, but only for a short time, 
when General Lopez came up and at once directed the 
firing to cease. He then proceeded to do a thing which 
plainly showed the spirit of the man, his resourcefulness 
and his undaunted courage. He marched up to the bar- 
racks and demanded its unconditional surrender. 

The Spanish soldiers evidently were not altogether 
whole hearted in their defence, but their leaders were 
crafty. A long parley ensued, during which the Spanish 
troops were hastily and quietly withdrawn through a side 
door, with the intention of making their escape to the 
Governor's palace. When the barracks had been in this 


manner all but abandoned, the Spanish commander 
agreed to surrender, and it can be imagined that he en- 
joyed the chagrin of Lopez when he discovered that his 
prize was an almost empty building. 

But the Spanish troops were not destined to escape so 
easily. Colonel Wheat, with the Louisiana regiment, 
had been the last to leave the Creole. As he approached 
the barracks he heard the firing, but supposing that Lopez 
had only to put in an appearance to be greeted with loud 
acclaim as a deliverer, he decided that the Spanish troops 
had laid down their arms to join the revolutionists and 
that the sound of guns marked a salute to Lopez. He 
went around the barracks, toward the square, and was 
just in time to intercept the flying Spaniards. Instantly 
he grasped the situation, and a skirmish ensued. The 
Spaniards at length made good their retreat to the Gov- 
ernor's palace, but not without leaving some dead and 
wounded behind them. 

Lopez and his men at once advanced on the palace, 
where the Governor had taken refuge with his forces, 
now reinforced by those who had made good their escape 
from the barracks. Soon Lopez distinguished a white 
flag of truce floating from one of the windows, and as 
he approached nearer received word that the Governor 
was ready to surrender. Overjoyed, the revolutionists 
rushed up to the palace only to be greeted in a manner 
quite in keeping with Spanish treachery, for they were 
promptly fired upon by the Spaniards, and before they 
could rally several of the attacking party were wounded, 
including General Gonzales. Lopez's anger at this viola- 
tion of the rules of decent fighting was at white heat. 
While the main division of his troops were returning the 
fire from the palace, he took a small body of men to recon- 
noiter, and finding an unguarded portion of the building, 


he set fire to it; indeed, with his own hand he applied the 
torch. All this had taken much more time than does its 
relating, and the forces in the palace were enabled to hold 
out until between eight and nine o'clock in the morning, 
when they surrendered, driven out by the flames and 
smoke, and the Governor and the commander of the gar- 
rison were taken prisoners, while such troops as had not 
found refuge in the palace fled to the outlying country, 
and couriers hurried to carry the news of the Spanish 
disaster to Matanzas. 

Lopez was now in possession of the town. There was 
the work of caring for the dead and wounded to be done, 
and besides this he wished to make an appeal to Cuban 
residents who sympathized with the cause of freedom to 
aid him. This was not so easy as it seemed. Lopez to 
his chagrin found that reports which had reached him 
in the United States of the willingness of the Cubans to 
join a revolution had been grossly exaggerated. That 
there were a great many who sympathized with Lopez's 
purpose there can be no doubt. But they had to deter 
them the memory of other uprisings, in which the attempt 
to throw off the Spanish yoke had utterly failed. They 
had also before them the courage-shaking memories of the 
horrors which had befallen those who had participated in 
the rebellions. It is ever a fact that while oppression 
always creates leaders whose valor and daring will not 
stop at any obstacles, it al.< makes the masses of the 
people timid, afraid of the punishment which is bound to 
follow defeat. Spain had long held the Cubans in 
bondage. She had meted out to them the most cruel 
injustices, and had taken unspeakable revenge not only 
on those who had opposed her, but even on those who 
were under suspicion of such opposition. Besides this, 
on this May morning, things had been happening very 


fast. Lopez's little victories had been won in whirlwind 
succession. This should have inspired sympathizers with 
confidence, but there were in that town some private per- 
sons who were in sympathy and in league with the Span- 
ish rulers. They now resorted to propaganda. They 
spread the report that Lopez's band had no real intention 
of trying to free Cuba, that their real object was plunder, 
that when they had subdued the garrison, they intended 
to put the patriotic Cubans to new sufferings for their own 
aggrandisement. Long years of injustice had made the 
Creoles wary of asserting themselves openly against their 
Spanish tyrants. While those who had been leaders in 
the town in the organization on Cuban soil of the revolu- 
tion tried to reassure the frightened people, they were far 
from successful. A mob spirit of fear is not easily con- 

Aside from this Lopez's force, worn out with their 
efforts, tired and hungry, and for the time idle, while 
the leaders were planning the next move, dispersed 
through the town. It seemed necessary and expedient 
in any event that they should be quartered on the citizens, 
and now they sought the homes of the Creoles in search 
of food. They were met by a frightened hospitality. 
Food and wine were set before them, with the result that 
those of them who were merely adventurers lost sight of 
their purpose and seized the opportunity to court intoxi- 
cation. This conduct did not increase the confidence of 
the Creoles, and so hopes of support from the native 
Cubans proved delusive. 

To make matters worse, disquieting rumors were circu- 
lated that in spite of the efforts of Pickett's men to disable 
the railroad, a large body of Spanish troops was on its 
way from Matanzas. There seemed to be no doubt as to 
the truth of these reports ; indeed a message reached Lopez 


late in the afternoon, containing unmistakable confirma- 
tion to the effect that couriers had carried the news to 
Matanzas and that three thousand Spanish troops were 
on their way to Cardenas. Lopez was now in a triple 
quandary. He could advance against this huge force, 
which would of course be joined by those of the Cardenas 
garrison who had escaped into the country, and give bat- 
tle against frightful odds. His own forces had been de- 
pleted by losses and had failed to be swelled by the enlist- 
ment of sympathizing Creoles. He would leave behind 
him a frightened and almost hostile city, and a port un- 
guarded against the landing of Spanish troops from ships 
cruising in nearby waters, in the event of which he would 
be subject to attack from both front and rear, and would 
be not only in great danger, but almost in certainty of 
being surrounded. He might remain where he was and 
entrench himself against the impending attack, but this 
offered no better possibilities than the former plan, for he 
had not enough men to defend both the town and the har- 
bor and he was in constant danger of betrayal by Spanish 
sympathizers, who were of course cognizant of his every 
move. He had been told that at Mantua large bodies of 
Creoles stood ready to revolt and join him. Of course, 
he had no more accurate confirmation of the truth of this 
rumor than he had had of the verity of the assurances 
which, before he had set out on his expedition, he had 
received of the willingness of the inhabitants of Cardenas 
to join him; and yet this plan last outlined seemed to hold 
better possibilities than either of the others. He decided, 
therefore, to adopt it, and while making a show of resist- 
ance, he began quietly to assemble his baggage and equip- 
ment on board the Creole, and to make ready for the re- 
embarkation of his men. 

Although the forces at the station, and indeed other 


small bodies of his troops who had not been demoralized 
by the delights of the table, sought to cover his retreat, 
and the former did render effective service against the 
Spaniards, yet his movements did not escape observation, 
and were hailed with delight and with renewed aggres- 
sions by the Spanish troops. The retreat was not easy 
to effect, and when he had assembled his scattered forces, 
his movements were halted from time to time by the neces- 
sity of erecting temporary barricades, from which to cover 
the safe return to the Creole. This was finally effected, 
and at nine in the evening the vessel once more set out to 
sea. On board her, besides Lopez and his men, were the 
Spanish governor and the commander of the garrison, 
and they were retained as hostages until the ship cleared 
the harbor. This was not accomplished without mishap, 
for the captain, again hampered by navigating in what 
to him were uncharted waters, once more grounded the 
ship, which caused some delay. At length they were on 
the high seas, and just before they quit the shores of 
Cuba, they landed the discomfited governor and the gar- 
rison chief. What would have happened, had Lopez 
been in the governor's predicament, indeed what did hap- 
pen, when Lopez and his men finally fell into the hands 
of the Spaniards, is another story. But Lopez was too 
high a type of gentleman to mete out to the Spanish high 
commanders the fate to which they would too gladly 
have consigned him. 

Lopez has in many quarters been most severely cen- 
sured for his quick abandonment of his plans and his 
hasty retreat from Cuba, but in the cold light of reason, 
we hardly see how he could have pursued any other course. 
Had his expectation of aid from the Creoles been realized, 
he might then, as he had planned, have left Cardenas in 
their hands, and with his little band strengthened by a 


large body of revolutionary sympathizers he might have 
advanced against the Spanish army at Matanzas with 
some hope of success. As it was, he could only make the 
best of a bad situation, and depart, with the faint hope 
of better fortune at Mantua, and at least with the nucleus 
of an organization which later might be more effective in 
another expedition of greater scope for the freeing of 
Cuba. Thus, when we review his action, after the pass- 
age of many years, he seems to have taken the only sane 
course that lay open to him. Any other would have meant 
even greater disaster. Lopez had lost, in this short time, 
of his Louisiana regiment, twenty killed and wounded, 
including those basely slaughtered through the Spanish 
treachery before the Governor's palace; of his Kentucky 
regiment, forty killed and wounded, including such men 
of high standing as Captain John A. Logan, Lieutenant 
James J. Garrett, the Rev. Louis McCann and Sergeant 
Harry Cruse, besides ten privates; while his Mississippi 
regiment suffered five or six killed. The Spanish losses 
were greater than those of the revolutionists and numbered 
over one hundred. 

But an even greater misfortune had overtaken Lopez. 
When the Creole had grounded, near the entrance to the 
harbor, while he was making his hasty departure from 
Cardenas, it had been impossible to float her free without 
lightening her, and to do this not only were provisions 
thrown overboard, but large quantities of precious arms 
and ammunitions, and so his men now found themselves 
insufficiently armed for any stubborn resistance to Span- 
ish troops, particularly should the odds be heavy. Lopez 
was still bent on his purpose of making a landing at 
Mantua, but while his gallant officers in the main sup- 
ported him, he found himself surrounded by a dissatis- 
fied, angry, mutinous crew, who were for abandoning the 


whole matter, and steaming for the United States with all 
possible speed. Lopez addressed them, and tried to stir 
within them a realization of what such action meant, and 
how fatal it might be to the cause of Cuban liberty to 
abandon so easily an expedition so propitiously and even 
gaily undertaken, but they were deaf to his entreaties. At 
the suggestion of one of his officers the matter was put to 
vote, and to his dismay Lopez found that only fifteen 
stood with him on the Mantua project. He would not 
consent to abandon it, however, even against such odds, 
and declared that he would himself make the landing, 
taking with him the loyal few who were willing to stay 
with him. This, however, he was prevented from doing 
by the fact that the majority saw to it that the captain 
did not approach Mantua, but steered a course which had 
as its object the port of Key West, Florida. 

Evidence soon was not lacking that theirs had been the 
part of wisdom if not of valor, and indeed that there were 
some odds against their reaching any port at all, for news 
of the expedition had not only been carried to Matanzas, 
but it had somehow reached the Spanish ship Pizarro, 
and she was soon in hot pursuit of the Creole. This soon 
became a most serious situation; again and again it 
seemed as if the Creole were about to be overhauled, with 
the probable result that her men would be taken prisoners 
and executed, and she would be sunk, or taken to port a 
prize of war. Fate, however, intervened in favor of 
Lopez, for the pilot on board the Spanish vessel was in 
sympathy with the filibusters, and when, on nearing Key 
West, the Pizarro seemed about to overtake the Creole, 
at the peril of his own life he steered such an eccentric 
course that the Creole escaped, and made a landing at 
Key West, while the Spanish ship put out to sea once 


Lopez and his men were welcomed at Key West with 
shouts of applause. Sympathizers with his expedition re- 
fused to consider it a failure. They declared that it had 
served to open the eyes of the Cubans to the fact that 
their deliverance was near, and that when Lopez once 
more set out with a larger force as they assured him, 
with the assistance of the people of the south in the 
United States, he would victory would be certain to 
spread her wings over his banner. So great was the 
popular clamor in favor of Lopez, that the United States 
authorities did not deem it prudent to arouse the ire of 
the mob, and therefore no attempts at arrest were then 
made. Indeed, little chance was given before debarka- 
tion, because in hardly more than ten minutes after the 
vessel had docked, the work of removing the wounded 
had been completed, and her decks were cleared of all men 
but seamen. The vessel was, however, seized by the au- 

When news of Lopez's exploits reached Madrid, the 
government was thrown into a great state of indignation, 
and promptly urged upon the United States the punish- 
ment of the offenders, stating : 

"If contrary to our expectations the authors of this 
last expedition should go unpunished, as did those who 
last year planned the Round Island expedition, the gov- 
ernment of Her Majesty will find itself obliged to appeal 
to the sentiments of morality and good faith of the na- 
tions of Europe to oppose the entrance of a system of 
politics and of doctrines which would put an end to the 
foundations on which rests the peate of the civilized 
world. If Europe should sanction by her silence and ac- 
quiescence the scandalous state of affairs by which the 
citizens of the United States (or those of any power what- 
ever) might freely make war from their territory against 


Spain, when the latter is at perfect peace officially with 
the Union ; if it should be tolerated or looked on with in- 
difference that the solemn stipulations which bind the 
two states should be with impunity made hollow by mobs 
and that the laws of nations and public morality should be 
violated without other motive than the selfishness of the 
aggressors, and with no other reliance than force, then 
civilized nations ought to renounce that peace which is 
based on the laws of nations and the terms of treaties and 
make ready for a new era in which might will be right, 
and in which popular passions of the worst kind will be 
substituted for the reason of states." 

Even with the government in Washington practically 
controlled by the pro-slavery interests, and with feeling 
in that quarter running high in favor of the filibusters, 
the United States, for the sake of preservation of peace- 
able relations with Spain, could hardly afford to ignore 
this protest. Hence, Lopez was arrested at Savannah, 
whence he had gone immediately upon his arrival on 
American soil, and a number of the leaders of his expedi- 
tion were apprehended. 

Indictments were returned against Lopez, Theodore 
O'Hara, John F. Pickett, R. Hayden, Chatham R. Wheat, 
Thomas T. Hawkins, W. H. Bell, N. J. Bunce, Peter 
Smith, A. J. Gonzales, L. J. Sigur, Donahen Augusten, 
John Quitman, Cotes worth Pinckney Smith (a Judge of 
the Supreme Court of Mississippi), John Henderson (a 
former United States Senator), and J. L. O'Sullivan (a 
former editor of the Democratic Review, which had been 
loud in its support of the filibustering expeditions). But 
great difficulty was experienced in obtaining evidence 
against the prisoners. This might seem extraordinary, 
in the light of the fact that there could be no denial that 
the expedition had taken place, and that these men had 


been prominent in its organization. But at the trial all 
the witnesses by common agreement refused to answer 
any but the simplest and least important questions, on 
the ground that they might thus incriminate themselves. 
Three men were tried and three juries disagreed. The 
matter seemed so hopeless of solution that the indictments 
were allowed to languish without prosecution, and were 
finally dismissed and the prisoners released. Everywhere 
the filibusters were received with acclamations, and all 
the South joined in declaring Lopez a hero. 

The New Orleans Bee at this time thus described 
Lopez : 

"General Lopez has an exceedingly prepossessing ap- 
pearance. He is apparently about fifty years of age. 
His figure is compact and well set. His face which is 
dark olive, and of the Spanish cast, is strikingly hand- 
some, expressive of both intelligence and energy. His 
full dark eyes, firm, well-formed mouth, and erect head, 
crowned with iron grey hair, fix the attention and convince 
you that he is no ordinary man. Unless we are greatly 
mistaken in the impression we have formed of him, he 
will again be heard of in some new attempt to revolution- 
ize Cuba. He certainly does not look like a man easily 

The Bee was a true prophet; it was far from being 
"greatly mistaken" about Lopez. The after events 
proved that it had judged him justly. No sooner was he 
released than he began to lay his plans for a new expe- 
dition, and since New Orleans had long been the strong- 
hold of his sympathizers, he went to that place to complete 
his organization. 


SPAIN was now thoroughly alive to the danger which 
threatened her future retention of Cuba, and in the face 
of an emergency she vacillated. Her high officials began 
to wonder if after all their policy of extreme oppression 
and suppression had not been in a measure the wrong one 
to pursue with the Cubans. Roncali, who had been so 
pleasing to the Peninsulars, or Spanish party in Cuba, 
and so unpopular with the patriots, was recalled and 

Don Jose Gutierrez de la Concha 
was dispatched to take his place 
as Captain-General. He took 
over the affairs of the island on 
November 10, 1850. Concha 
was as unwelcome to the Penin- 
sulars as his predecessor had 
been to their liking. He was a 
man who had at least some re- 
gard for justice, and who, if 
RAMON PINTO given a free hand, might have 

governed Cuba with a degree of wisdom and fairness. 
He was not a believer in liberty for the Cubans, 
but at least he had some conception of what constituted 


An early martyr to the cause of Cuban freedom, Ramon Pinto, was born 
in Cataluna, Spain, in 1802, and engaged in the revolution of 1820-23 in 
that country. Then he fled to Cuba and became a brilliant writer in behalf 
of philanthropic works. In 1853 he became director of the Havana Lyceum, 
and later was a close friend and adviser of Captain-General Concha. In 
1855 he was charged with being engaged in a revolutionary conspiracy, was 
convicted on dubious testimony, and died on the scaffold in March of that 



equity. He publicly stated his ideal of his office, as "a 
government of justice" and might have worked out some- 
thing like a solution of Spain's problems in Cuba, unless, 
as we think it fair to believe, it was now much too late 
to quell the revolutionary spirit which had grown to 
such great proportions; with " a government of force," 
no matter what its purpose, the Cubans were all too famil- 
iar, and they had plainly shown how much they hated it 
and despised its administrators. 

One evil this new Captain-General did earnestly try to 
overcome. He endeavored to do away with the fee sys- 
tem which had caused so much unjust imprisonment and 
suffering. He made an effort to obtain fixed salaries for 
all government officials instead of fees, but at every turn 
he was balked by the Peninsulars. There is some reason 
to believe that he was not altogether sincere ; that he was 
a fair spokesman, but an evil performer; that he did not 
allow his right hand to know the injustice he was planning 
to do with his left. At any rate, at the very time when 
he was offering such cheering words of hope to the 
Cubans, he was putting into operation a regular line of 
vessels from Cadiz, Spain, to Havana. He offered vari- 
ous excuses of course, expansion, and many others for 
this action, but thinking Cubans well knew that his real 
purpose was that communications might be more easy and 
frequent with the Spanish court, and that news of upris- 
ings, and the dispatching of troops to suppress them, 
might be less delayed. He also but, of course, this was 
done under orders of the Spanish government, induced, 
we are told, by his recommendations increased and 
strengthened the fortifications of the island, and asked 
for and received a greater number of troops to man them. 

However, there must have been some ground for the 
belief that Concha in some ways favored the Cubans for 


in no other manner could he have raised such a storm of 
dislike among the Peninsulars as constantly whistled 
about his head, and finally resulted in his recall. 

While these events were taking place in Cuba, Lopez, 
in the United States, was far from idle, and he was not 
lacking in friends who sought to aid him. Singularly 
enough those in the South who were numbered among his 
supporters seemed not to be disheartened by the failure of 
the Cardenas expedition, and, of course, the juntas were 
active in stirring up popular opinion in favor of filibus- 
tering, and in obtaining both moral and financial support 
for another enterprise. But with it all money was woe- 
fully lacking. 

General Henderson, who had been a member of the 
first expedition, and had been one of those indicted and 
tried, at this time wrote to a friend : 

"I need not tell you how much I desire to see him 
(Lopez) move again, and it is more useless to tell you how 
wholly unable I am to assist him to make this move. 
With my limited means, I am under the extremest burdens 
from my endeavors on the former occasion. Indeed I 
find my cash advanced for the first experience were over 
half the cash advanced to the enterprise, and all my pres- 
ent means and energies are exhausted in bringing up the 
arrearages. Yet I still believe in the importance, the 
morality and the probability of the enterprise; and I 
believe it is one the South should steadfastly cherish and 
promote. I feel it is more especially incumbent on us 
who have once failed to retrieve ourselves from so much 
of the opprobrium and reproach as the defeat has cast 
upon us. For we know that, could we succeed, we should 
win all those triumphs which success in such enterprises 
never fails to command. And would not such triumph 
be glorious! I believe you yield equal consideration to 


the importance of this subject as I do; and as a Southern 
question, I do not think, when properly viewed, its magni- 
tude can be overestimated." 

When a leader is able to enlist the sympathies, and 
drain the purse, of a man so intelligent and of such high 
standing as John Henderson, former Senator of the 
United States, and when he can bind such a man to him by 
even stronger ties in defeat than in victory, the personal- 
ity of that leader must be one of extraordinary strength, 
courage and probity. It speaks well for Lopez that all 
through his career he gathered around him men of the 
finest families in the South, and indeed some of equally 
high standing from the North which was not particularly 
in favor of his venture, and those men fought for him and 
with him, and remained loyal until the greater portion of 
them paid the penalty of their lives for their devotion. 

Now recruiting began in earnest. Everywhere in the 
South agents of Lopez were busy, but the headquarters 
of this new movement seem to have been at Savannah. 
Spain, of course, was not unaware of what was taking 
place and was on the alert. Spanish spies were every- 
where watching the plotters against Spanish dominion in 
Cuba, and reporting their findings to the Spanish legation 
at Washington. The Spanish minister had in his em- 
ploy a man who called himself at times Burtnett. (He 
had many aliases.) He was more clever than the rank 
and file of the Spanish agents, and by associating him- 
self with the filibusters, he was able to learn their plans. 
Lopez's followers were not rash; they tried very hard to 
cover their activities; but in any undertaking in which a 
number of people are concerned, anything like complete 
secrecy is absolutely out of the question. Burtnett repre- 
sented himself as a sympathizer; he joined the filibusters 
and wormed himself into the confidence of the leaders. 


He learned that the plan was to assemble on the coast of 
Florida, and from there to set sail for Cuba. The fili- 
busters would themselves circulate rumors that the attack 
would be made on the south coast of Cuba, but Burtnett 
discovered that in reality the forces would be divided, and 
while the Spanish troops were mustered to repel an attack 
in the south, several small bands would land, organize 
the friendly Cubans, and give battle if necessary to what 
depleted Spanish forces might be located on the north 
coast. This would preclude the chance of such a dis- 
aster as the Cardenas expedition, and the Cubans, un- 
cowed by the presence of large bodies of governmental 
soldiery, would hasten to the aid of Lopez. Even the 
Spanish troops, some of whom were supposed to be in 
sympathy with the revolution, might be hoped to mutiny 
and join the Cubans. Thus this time there could be no 
thought of failure. 

Meanwhile Southern gentlemen of wealth and family 
were eagerly supplying funds to the enterprise. It is 
even said that some planters mortgaged their estates to 
obtain funds to give to the expedition, in the expectation 
that when rich Cuba was once acquired for the United 
States, they would receive back a reward far greater than 
the amount which they were contributing. Bonds of the 
proposed revolutionary government were printed, and 
sold; arms and ammunition were purchased and stored 
in readiness for the expedition. It was planned that the 
first consignment of arms was to be conveyed to the 
steamer Cleopatra, which had been purchased to carry 
the filibusters, by means of two small vessels, the sloop 
William Roe, and the steamer Nahantee, which were to 
steal respectively from the ports of New York and South 
Amboy, New Jersey, and meet the Cleopatra just beyond 
quarantine. When the details were completed, Burtnett 


revealed the whole plan to the Spanish minister, who lost 
no time in laying it before the United States government 
at Washington. Now no matter what the sympathies 
of this government might be, it could not be placed under 
the odium of giving its official sanction to such an enter- 
prise; indeed that would probably have resulted in war 
with Spain. Its action was slightly delayed, and the ex- 
pedition might even yet have gotten off without interfer- 
ence had it not been that the William Roe was detained 
on account of a flaw in her papers, and the Cleopatra, 
on which provisions were already stored, was delayed in 
putting to sea to wait for the William Roe and the Nahan- 
tee because at the last moment some of her crew went on 
shore and became intoxicated. This slight postponement 
of her sailing gave an opportunity for her attachment 
at whose instigation it is not clear for a writ for $3,000, 
to cover repairs made by a former owner, and for which 
the filibusters could hardly be held responsible. Never- 
theless, they raised the money, but before its transfer 
could be completed and the Cleopatra cleared on April 
26, 1851, the leaders were arrested. 

Things looked black for Lopez and his followers, but 
they still had the influence of the South behind them, and 
for this reason or some equally effective one, again the 
courts failed to convict them, and to add to their good 
fortune the government did not confiscate the Cleopatra 
and the provisions with which she was loaded, and she 
was afterward sold and the proceeds used as a nest-egg 
toward financing another expedition. 

Spain was now thoroughly aroused to her danger, and 
determined to put down the threatened revolution at any 
cost. Through her mouthpiece, the Captain-General of 
Cuba, she issued a proclamation to the Governors and 
Lieutenant Governors on the island : 


"It has come to the knowledge of the Government that 
a new incursion of pirates is preparing, similar to the 
one which took place at Cardenas during the past year. 
It is proposed, without doubt, as it was then, to sack de- 
fenseless towns and to disturb the order which reigns in 
this beautiful part of the Spanish monarchy. But the 
loyalty of its inhabitants, the valor and discipline of the 
troops, and the measures taken by the government, are the 
surest guaranty that its destruction will follow immedi- 
ately the news of its disembarkation. You must, then, 
above all else see to it that the news of this invasion pro- 
duces no alarm in the district which you command. 

"To exterminate the pirates, whatever be their number, 
it is not necessary to have recourse to extraordinary 
means ; the ordinary means on which the government can 
count are enough and even more than enough. Any act, 
on the other hand, which is unusual would produce anx- 
iety and uneasiness among the peaceful inhabitants; 
it might cause, perhaps, an interruption of business, and 
would thus occasion a real and important loss for public 
and private interests. It is necessary, therefore, to avoid 
any measures which may remove from the towns of that 
district the confidence and sense of security which the 
government inspires. The actual situation, however, im- 
poses on the authorities the double duty to cause order to 
reign, and not to appear to obtain it by unaccustomed 
means which are only expedient when circumstances are 
really dangerous. And this double object will be 
achieved if that vigilance, activity and prudence are in 
evidence on which I should be able to count from you. 
But you must not forget that in these circumstances, one 
of the most important duties of the authorities is to quiet 
minds, and hush suspicions, to take care, finally, that in 
not a single instance there should be disturbed that har- 


mony which now more than ever ought to reign among 
the inhabitants of the island. Working to this end, I 
have the most confidence that this event will end fortu- 
nately, making certain the peace which the island needs 
to continue on the path of prosperity which it has so far 

The foregoing gives a very adequate idea, cleverly 
cloaked under soft and reassuring words, of the panic 
under which the authorities were laboring. Only too well 
they knew the danger of "any unusual disturbance," and 
of the exciting of the populace, for in it dwelt the menace 
that that same excited mob might turn and rend their 

The Captain-General soon had another circumstance 
brought to his attention which was a tremendous shock to 
his sensibilities, seeming as it were a bomb placed at 
the very bulwarks of his authority. Puerto Principe had 
been more or less a danger point, and harsh measures 
had been used to put down the incipient rebellion there. 
The people had an inkling that it was the intention of 
the Captain-General to deprive them of their Audiencia. 
This would eliminate the cost of its maintenance, and 
also keep the legislative or advisory power more closely 
concentrated in Havana, where the Captain-General 
could keep a watchful eye on proceedings. A petition 
was received by Concha requesting that they be not de- 
prived of their Audiencia, but when he examined it 
closely he was shocked to observe that it was dated a 
month previous, and that it had evidently been sent di- 
rectly to the Spanish government at Madrid, without the 
official sanction and endorsement of the Captain-General, 
and this circumstance was aggravated by the fact that the 
petition bore the signature of the Commanding General. 
Things were coming to a pretty pass if the Captain-Gen- 


eral, the highest official in the land, was to be ignored 
by his subjects. Concha made a great to-do about the 
matter, and obtained the dismissal from office of the of- 
fending Commanding General, at the same time secur- 
ing the appointment of a close friend, Don Jose Lemery, 
on whom he could depend to do his bidding. Lemery 
began his tenure of office by using the most harsh and 
unwarranted methods of suppressing what he termed an 
impending uprising, and by ordering the arrest of a large 
number of the members of old Creole families persons 
who were known to have revolutionary sympathies on 
suspicion of being about to incite a rebellion. Among 
these were many members of the city council under the 
old Commanding General, and one of the number, Don 
Joaquin de Aguero, was later to figure as the leader of 
the most successful revolution which Cuba had yet known. 
Meanwhile Lopez, not disheartened, was once more 
planning an invasion of Cuba, with belief unshaken, in 
spite of his discouraging experiences, in the real desire 
of the Cubans for liberty and in their purpose to join 
the revolutionary movement, if they could only be brought 
to emerge from the deadening stupor of acquiescence into 
which fear of Spanish vengeance seemed to have plunged 
them. This belief was strengthened by the correspond- 
ence, which by an underground method he was carrying 
on with Cuban patriots men who he expected would be 
leaders in future revolutions. They all assured him that 
if he could only start a real movement for revolt, which 
promised actual deliverance, the Cubans would no longer 
hesitate but would rush to his support. The fact that a 
price had now been set on his head, should he set his 
foot on Cuban soil, and be so unfortunate as to fall into 
the hands of the Spaniards, had no deterring power on 
Lopez's purposes. He was above suspicion of a personal 


axe to grind, and there was never any question of his 
courage and perseverance. 

Lopez was emboldened by the support which the Cuban 
juntas promised him, but he did not find all of the men 
who had accompanied him on the Cardenas expedition as 
confident as he was himself. Some of the less daring 
spirits prepared a statement to their leader, setting forth 
their viewpoint, in substantially the following language : 

"The people of Cuba charge us with endeavoring to 
create a revolution for the sake of pillage ; they state that 
the Cubans do not desire freedom ; if they did they would 
strike for themselves. We will not waste any more time, 
nor take another step until we see something more on the 
part of the Creoles besides promises. We took the first 
step at Cardenas, and gave them an opportunity to show 
their hands, which they did not. They must take the 
next, and then we will go to their assistance; otherwise 
we shall not budge an inch." 

Naturally enough, upon consideration, this impressed 
Lopez and his more loyal followers as embodying some 
pretty sound common sense. It seemed to be logical that 
the Cubans themselves should make the next move, and 
back up their assertions by action. This ultimatum was 
conveyed to them, by the same devious ways in which their 
promises had gotten by the Spanish spies, and the effect 
was miraculous. They rose to the situation, and an- 
nounced that they would bring about a revolution, and 
that the first steps would be taken sometime between July 
1 and 4. That Lopez and his friends were astonished 
at this show of spirit in those who had so sadly demon- 
strated their lack of grit at Cardenas a short time before, 
is not beyond the realm of belief, nor is it necessary to 
relate how delighted they were that at last the Cubans were 
about to move in their own behalf. The time was then so 


near, and Lopez's own preparations had made so little 
practical progress, that there was not a sufficient period 
between the date on which he received this information 
and the day set for the revolutionary movement to enable 
him to send any aid, except cheering words. 

On the morning of July 3, 1851, Don Joaquin de 
Aguero led a small band of patriots to the public square 
at Puerto Principe, all of them shouting in loud tones: 
"Liberty! Freedom for Cuba! Death to the Span- 
iards!" Now Aguero had been promised that at least 
four hundred patriots would join him on this occasion, at 
the place appointed, and give batttle to the Spanish troops, 
which they well knew would be called upon to put down 
the demonstration. But the Cubans had not yet found 
themselves ; it was still difficult for them to shake off the 
spell which the Spaniards seemed to have cast upon them, 
and to come out into the open and fight for their freedom. 
The promised four hundred were represented by a pitiful 
fifteen, and the little band naturally had small chance 
against the overwhelming forces which were sent against 
them immediately the alarm was given. They fought 
bravely, but there could be only one result, against such 
odds. They were routed and their leader was captured. 
Aguero succeeded, however, in escaping from the Span- 
iards, and went into hiding until the next day, when the 
patriots again made a demonstration for freedom at 
Najassa. Here, for the second time, the flag of Cuba 
Libre was flung to the breeze, and with shouts and cheers, 
the following Declaration of Independence for Cuba was 
read to a great multitude which had assembled in the 
square : 

"To the inhabitants of the Island of Cuba, Manifesto 
and Proclamation of their independence by the Liberating 
Society of Puerto Principe. 


"Human reason revolts against the idea that the social 
and political condition of a people can be indefinitely 
prolonged, in which man, stripped of all rights and guar- 
antees, with no security of person or property, no enjoy- 
ment in the present, no hope in the future, lives only by 
the will, and under the conditions imposed by the pleasure 
of his tyrants ; where a vile calumny, a prisoner's denun- 
ciation, a despot's suspicion, a word caught up by surprise 
in the sanctuary of home, or from the violated privacy of 
a letter, furnishes ample grounds for tearing a man from 
his hearth, and casting him forth to die of destitution or 
despair in a foreign soil, if he escapes being subjected to 
the insulting forms of a barbarous and arbitrary tribunal, 
where his persecutors are themselves the judges who con- 
demn him, and where, instead of their proving his offence, 
he is required to prove his innocence. 

"A situation so violent as this, Cuba has been for many 
years enduring ; and, far from any promise of remedy ap- 
pearing, every day adds new proof that the policy of the 
mother-country and the ferocity of her rulers will grant 
neither truce nor rest till she is reduced to the condition 
of an immense prison, where every Cuban will be watched 
by a guard, and will have to pay that guard for watching 
him. In vain have this people exhibited a mildness, a 
prudence, and even a submission and loyalty, which have 
been proverbial. 

"When the iniquity of the government has not been able 
to find any ostensible grounds for persecution, it has had 
recourse to cowardly arts and snares to tempt its victims 
into some offence. Thus were various individuals of 
Matanzas entrapped into an ambuscade of the soldiery, 
by the pretext of selling them some arms, under circum- 
stances which made them believe those arms were neces- 
sary for self-defence, against threatened attacks from the 


Peninsulars. Thus have sergeants and even officers been 
seen to mingle among the country people, and pass them- 
selves off as enemies of the government, for the purpose 
of betraying them into avowals of their sentiments to the 
ruin of many persons so informed against as well as to 
the disgrace of military honor on the part of those who 
have lent themselves to so villainous a service. 

"If the sons of Cuba, moved by the dread of greater 
evils, have ever determined to employ legitimate means of 
imposing some law, or some restraint upon the unbridled 
excesses of their rulers, these latter have always found 
the way to distort such acts into attempts at rebellion. 

"For having dared to give utterances to principles and 
opinions, which, to other nations, constitute the founda- 
tion of their moral progress and glory, the Cubans most 
distinguished for their virtues and talents have found 
themselves wanderers and exiles. For the offence of hav- 
ing exhibited their opposition to the unlawful and perilous 
slave trade, from which the avarice of General O'Donnell 
promised itself so rich a harvest of lucre, the latter satiated 
his resentment with the monstrous vengeance of involving 
them in a charge of conspiracy with the free colored peo- 
ple and the slaves of the estates ; endeavoring, as the last 
outrage that an immoral government could offer to law, to 
reason, or to nature, to prove the object of that con- 
spiracy, in which they implicated whites of the most emi- 
nent virtue, knowledge, and patriotism, to have been no 
other than the destruction of their own race. 

"All the laws of society and nature trampled under 
foot all races and conditions confounded together the 
island of Cuba then presented to the civilized world a 
spectacle worthy of the rejoicings of hell. The wretched 
slaves saw their flesh torn from them under the lash, and 


bespattered with blood the faces of their executioners, who 
did not cease exacting from their tortures denunciation 
against accomplices. Others were shot in platoons with- 
out form of trial, and without even coming to understand 
the pretext under which they were massacred. The free 
colored people, after having been first lacerated by the 
lash, were then hurried to the scaffold and those only es- 
caped with life who had gold enough to appease the fury 
of their executioners. And nevertheless, when the gov- 
ernment or its followers has come to fear some rising of 
the Cubans their first threat has been that of arming the 
colored people against them for their extermination. We 
abstain for very shame from repeating the senseless pre- 
tences to which they have had recourse to terrify the timid 
wretches! How have they been able to image that the 
victims of their fury, with whom the whites of Cuba 
had shared in common the horrors of misery and persecu- 
tion, will turn against their own friends at the call of the 
very tyrant who has torn them in pieces? If the free 
colored people, who know their interests as well as the 
whites, take any part in the movement of Cuba, it cer- 
tainly will not be to the injury of the mother who shelters 
them in her bosom, nor of those other sons of hers who 
have never made them feel the difference of their race 
and condition, and who, far from plundering them, have 
taken pride in being their defenders and in meriting the 
title of their benefactors. 

"The world would refuse to believe the history of the 
horrid crimes which have been perpetrated in Cuba, and 
would reasonably consider that if there have been mon- 
sters to commit, it is inconceivable that there could so 
long have been men to endure them. But if there are 
few able to penetrate to the truth of particular facts, 


through all the means employed by the government to 
obscure and distort them, no one will resist the evidence 
of public and official facts. 

"Publicly and with arms in his hands, did General 
Tacon despoil Cuba of the constitution of Spain, pro- 
claimed by all the powers of the monarchy, and sent to 
be sworn to in Cuba, as the fundamental law of the whole 

"Publicly and by legislative act, was Cuba declared to 
be deprived of all the rights enjoyed by all Spaniards, and 
conceded by nature and the laws of nations the least 
advanced in civilization. 

"Publicly have the sons of Cuba been cut off from all 
admission to the commands and lucrative employments 
of the State. 

"Publicly are unlimited powers of every description 
granted to the Captains-General of Cuba who can refuse 
to those whom they condemn even the right of a trial and 
the privilege of being sentenced by a tribunal. 

"Public and permanent in the island of Cuba, are those 
courts martial which the laws permit only in extraordinary 
cases of war, for offences against the State. 

"Publicly has the Spanish press hurled against Cuba 
the threat converting the island into ruin and ashes by 
liberating the slaves and unchaining against her the 
hordes of barbarian Africans. 

"Publicly are impediments and difficulties imposed 
upon every individual, to restrain him from moving from 
place to place, and from exercising any branch of industry 
no one being safe from arrest and fine, for some de- 
ficiency of authority or license, at every step he may take. 

"Public are the taxes which have wasted away the sub- 
stance of the island and the project of other new ones, 
which threaten to abolish all the products of its riches 


nothing being left for the opinions and interests of the 

" Outrages so great and so frequent, reasons so many 
and so strong, suffice not merely to justify, but to sanctify, 
in the eyes of the whole world, the cause of the independ- 
ence of Cuba, and any effort of her people, by their own 
exertions, or with friendly aid from abroad, to put an 
end to the evils they suffer, and secure the rights with 
which God and nature have invested man. 

"Who will in Cuba oppose this indefeasible instinct, 
this imperative necessity of defending our property, and 
of seeking in the institutions of a just, free and regulated 
government conditions on which alone civilized society 
can exist? 

"The Peninsulars (natives of Spain) perhaps, who have 
come to Cuba to marry our daughters, who have here their 
children, their affections and their property, will they 
disregard the laws of nature to range themselves on the 
side of a government which oppresses them as it oppresses 
us, and which will neither thank them for the service nor 
be able, with all their help, to prevent the triumph of 
the independence of Cuba? 

"Are not they as intimately bound up with happiness 
and interest of Cuba as those blood-natives of her soil, 
who will never be able to deny the name of their fathers, 
and who, in rising up today against the despotism of the 
government would wish to count upon their co-operation 
as the best guaranty of their new social organization and 
the strongest proof of the justice of their cause? 

"Have they not fought in the Peninsula itself, for 
their national independence, for the support of the same 
principles for which we, the sons of Cuba proclaim, and 
which, being the same for men in all countries, cannot be 
admitted in one and rejected in another without doing 


treason to nature and to the light of reason, from which 
they spring? 

"No, no it cannot be that they should carry submis- 
siveness to the point of preferring their own ruin, and the 
spilling of the blood of their sons and brothers, to be 
triumph of the holiest cause ever embraced by man a 
cause which aims to promote their own happiness and 
to protect their rights and properties. The Peninsulars 
who adorn and enrich our soil, and to whom the title of 
labor gives as high a right as our own to its preservation, 
know very well that the sons of Cuba regard them with 
personal affection have never failed to recognize the 
interest and reciprocal wants which unite the two nor 
have ever held them responsible for the perversenesses of 
the few, and for the iniquities of a government whose in- 
fernal policy alone has labored to separate them, on the 
tyrant's familiar maxim to divide and conquer. 

"We, who proceed in good faith and with the noble am- 
bition of earning the applause of the world for the justice 
of our acts we surely cannot aim at the destruction 
of our brothers, nor at the usurpation of their properties ; 
and far from meriting that vile calumny which the gov- 
ernment will endeavor to fasten upon us, we do not hesi- 
tate to swear in the sight of God and of man that nothing 
would better accord with the wishes of our hearts, or with 
the glory and happiness of our country, than the co-opera- 
tion of the Peninsulars, in the sacred work of liberation. 
United with them, we could realize that idea of entire 
independence which is a pleasing one to our minds; but 
if they present themselves in our way as enemies, we shall 
not be able to answer for the security of their persons and 
properties, nor when adventuring all for the main object 
of the liberty of Cuba, shall we be able to renounce any 
means of effecting it. 


"But if we have all these reasons to expect that the 
Peninsulars, who are in nowise dependent on the govern- 
ment and who are so bound up with the fate of Cuba, will 
at least remain neutral, it will not be supposed that we 
can promise ourselves the same conduct on the part of the 
army, the individuals composing which, without ties or 
affections, know no other law nor consideration than the 
will of their commander. We pity the lot of those un- 
fortunate men, subject to a tyranny as hard as our own, 
who, torn from their homes in the flower of their youth, 
have been brought to Cuba to oppress us on condition of 
themselves renouncing the dignity of men and all the 
enjoyments and hopes of life. If they shall appreciate 
the difference between a free and happy citizen and a de- 
pendent and hireling soldier, and choose to accept the 
benefits of liberty and prosperity, which we tender them, 
we will admit them into our ranks as brethren. But if 
they shall disregard the dictates of reason and of their 
own interests and allow themselves to be controlled by 
the insidious representations of their tyrants, so as to 
regard it as their duty to oppose themselves to us on the 
field of battle as enemies, we will then accept the combat, 
alike without hate and without fear and always willing, 
whenever they may lay down their arms, to welcome them 
to our embrace. 

"To employ the language of moderation and justice 
to seek for means of peace and conciliation to invoke the 
sentiments of love and brotherhood befits a cultivated 
and Christian people, which finds itself forced to appeal 
to the violent recourse of arms, not for the purpose of at- 
tacking the social order and the loves of fellow beings, 
but to recover the condition and the rights of man, usurped 
from them by an unjust and tyrannical power. But let 
not the expression of our progress and wishes encourage in 


our opponents the idea that we are ignorant of our re- 
sources, or distrustful of our strength. All the means 
united, at the disposal of the Peninsulars in Cuba against 
us, could only make the struggle more protracted and dis- 
astrous; but the issue in our favor could not be any the 
less sure and decisive. 

"In the ranks of independence we have to count all the 
free sons of Cuba, whatever may be the color of their 
race the brave nations of South America, who inhabit 
our soil and who have already made trial of the strength 
and conduct of our tyrants the sturdy islanders of the 
Canaries, who love Cuba as their country, and who have 
already had an Hernandez and a Montes de Oca, to seal 
with the proof of martyrdom, the heroic decision of their 
compatriots for our cause. 

"The ranks of the government would find themselves 
constantly thinned by desertion, by the climate, by death, 
which from all quarters would spring up among them in 
a thousand forms. Cut short of means to pay and main- 
tain their army, dependent on recruits from Spain to fill 
up their vacancies without an inch of friendly ground on 
which to plant their feet, or an individual on whom to 
rely with security, war in the field would be for them 
one of extermination; while, if they shut themselves 
within the defences of their fortresses, hunger and want 
would soon compel them to abandon them, if they were 
not carried by force of arms. The example of the whole 
continent of Spanish America, under circumstances more 
favorable for them, when they had Cuba as their arsenal, 
the benefit of her coffers, and native aid in those countries 
themselves, ought to serve them as a lesson not to under- 
take an exterminating and fratricidal struggle, which 
could not fail to be attended with the same or worse 


"We, on the other hand, besides our own resources, have 
in the neighboring States of the Union, and in all the 
republics of America, the encampments of our troops, the 
depots of our supplies^, and the arsenals of our arms. All 
the sons of this vast New World, whose bosom shelters the 
island of Cuba, and who have had, like us, to shake off 
by force the yoke of tyranny, will enthusiastically ap- 
plaud our resolve, will fly by hundreds to place themselves 
beneath the flag of liberty in our ranks, and there trained 
to experienced valor will aid us in annihilating, once and 
for always, the last badge of ignominy that still disgraces 
the free and independent soil of America. 

"If -we have hitherto hoped, with patience and resigna- 
tion, that justice and their own interests would change the 
mind of our tyrants ; if we have trusted to external efforts 
to bring the mother country to a negotiation which should 
avoid the disasters of war, we are resolved to prove by 
deeds that inaction and endurance have not been the re- 
sults of impotence and cowardice. Let the government 
undeceive itself in regard to the power of its bayonets 
and the efficiency of all the means it has invented to op- 
press and watch us. In the face of its very authorities 
in the sight of the spies at our side on the day when we 
have resolved to demand back our rights, the cry of liberty 
and independence will rise from the Cape of San Antonio 
to the Point of Maysi. 

"We, then, as provisional representatives of the people 
of Cuba, and in exercise of the rights which God and Na- 
ture have bestowed upon every freeman, to secure his wel- 
fare and establish himself under the form of government 
that suits him do solemnly declare, taking God to witness 
the ends we propose, and invoking the favor of the people 
of America, who have preceded us with their example, 
that the Island of Cuba is, and, by the laws of nature 


ought to be, independent of Spain; and that henceforth 
the inhabitants of Cuba are free from all obedience or 
subjection to the Spanish government and the individ- 
uals composing it ; owing submission only to the authority 
and direction of those who, while awaiting the action of 
the general suffrage of the people, are charged, or may 
provisionally charge themselves with the command and 
government of each locality, and of the military forces. 
"By virtue of this declaration, the free sons of Cuba, 
and the inhabitants of the Island who adhere to her 
cause, are authorized to take up arms, to unite into corps, 
to name officers and juntas of government, for their or- 
ganization and direction, for the purpose of putting them- 
selves in communication with the juntas constituted for 
the proclamation of the independence of Cuba, and which 
have given the initiative to this movement. Placed in the 
imposing attitude of making themselves respected, our 
compatriots will prefer all the means of persuasion to 
those of force ; they will protect the property of neutrals, 
whatever may be their origin; they will welcome the 
Peninsulars into their ranks as brothers and will respect 
all property. 

"If, notwithstanding our purposes and fraternal inten- 
tions, the Spanish government should find partizan ob- 
struction bent upon sustaining it, and we have to owe 
our liberty to the force of arms, sons of Cuba, let us 
prove to the republics of America, which are contemplat- 
ing us, that we having been the last to follow their exam- 
ple does not make us unworthy of them, nor incapable 
of receiving our liberty and achieving our independence. 

"July 4, 1851." 


Immediately upon the reading of this the wildest ex- 
citement ensued. The Cubans began to believe that at 
last deliverance was near. They flung their hats into the 
air, while tears streamed down their faces, and they 
shouted "Cuba Libre! Down with the Spaniards!" un- 
til hoarseness compelled them to stop. Then an ominous 
noise, low at first, but growing nearer and nearer, broke 
in upon their rapturous demonstrations. Well they knew 
that sound, for they had heard it only too often. The 
Spanish soldiers were approaching, and turning, those on 
the outskirts of the crowd beheld column after column 
of infantry advancing from one direction, while a troop 
of cavalry was apparently about to charge the crowd 
from the opposite side of the square. Aguero knew that 
a crisis had been reached and that on the work done in 
the next few moments depended victory or defeat. He 
called upon those closest in his confidence to organize 
the crowd. Plans for this action had previously been 
completed, and the assembled people were quickly 
grouped into divisions each containing one hundred men. 
By this time the Spanish troops were only about a hun- 
dred yards distant, and they at once opened fire on the 
revolutionists. Aguero's company was armed, and they 
had brought with them extra equipment, which had been 
distributed among the people. The revolutionists were 
by no means poor marksmen; they had long been prac- 
ticing in private for this very hour. They proved that 
they were more skilled than the picked troops of Spain, 
and for a time they showed astonishing efficiency in thin- 
ning the ranks of the Spanish infantry. But the cavalry 
now charged the crowd, and this was more serious than an 
infantry attack because the revolutionists were not pre- 
pared to return it in kind. They stood their ground 
bravely, firing at the horses, thus seeking to dismount 


and confuse the enemy, and strange as it may seem they 
were successful. The cavalry commander ordered a re- 
treat, which was accomplished in great disorder, and 
under a withering fire from the revolutionists, while the 
infantry, amazed and alarmed to find themselves no 
longer able to rely on the support of the cavalry, broke and 
fled toward Puerto Principe, from which place they had 
come. The little army at Najassa well knew that no 
help could be expected from their comrades at Puerto 
Principe, and therefore it seemed the part of discretion to 
allow the Spanish army to retreat unmolested, and for 
the revolutionists to take refuge in the interior of the 
island, where it would be more difficult to apprehend 
tbem, and where they hoped to find sympathy and sup- 
port. They made their way to Guanamaquilla, where 
they decided to make a stand, and where, after effecting a 
better organization, they entrenched themselves. 

On July 6 at this place they were attacked by six hun- 
dred Spaniards under General Lemery, and the Spanish 
troops were again routed, again retired in disorder, and 
once more the revolutionists celebrated a victory. Not 
only did the Spanish troops beat a hasty retreat, but they 
left behind them, on the field of battle, forty dead and 

It can be imagined with what elation the patriots cele- 
brated this second victory. They could hardly believe 
in their good fortune. It was incredible that they should 
have prevailed against the trained forces of Spain. It 
was not for them, at such close contact with events, to 
realize that while they were fighting for their homes, for 
freedom, for their families, for their very lives, for cap- 
ture meant as sure death as any bullet of the enemy could 
bring, after all the Spanish troops were only hirelings, 
fighting for pay and not for a principle, and that it has 


been the history of the world, since its beginning, that 
when the home is at stake sooner or later victory comes to 
its defenders. 

Now the little bands of one hundred separated, and the 
mistake was made which proved fatal to the cause for 
which they had already sacrificed so much, and which 
seemed about to triumph. They should have waited un- 
til news of their triumph penetrated to other patriots, and 
until their forces had been greatly swelled in volume, be- 
fore any division was made. 

Meanwhile, immediately after their first victory, they 
had sent a courier to bear word to Lopez, through their 
mysterious channels of communication, of their success, 
urging him to communicate the good news to the junta 
in New York, and to hasten to their aid with a new ex- 
pedition, and promising that meanwhile they would 
spread the revolution to all parts of the island, so that 
when he came again he would have no cause to complain 
of lack of support. 

The companies of one hundred each went in a separate 
direction, each bent on conquest and propaganda among 
timid sympathizers. One party, which was led by 
Aguero himself, made its way to Las Tunas, and arrived 
there late in the evening. Aguero divided his little band 
into two parts and approached the town from opposite 
directions, sounding the cry of the revolution, "Cuba 
Libre!" and calling upon all good patriots to join their 
forces. But Spanish spies, always active, had preceded 
them and the garrison of five hundred soldiers was al- 
ready alert. Then a catastrophe happened. The two 
bands of patriots, in the midst of the great confusion 
which their arrival occasioned, met in a dark, unpaved 
street, and not recognizing one another, each believed the 
other to be the Spaniards, and each opened fire upon the 


other. Too late the error was rectified. Some of the 
patriots had been injured by their own comrades, and the 
organization was in confusion; before order could be 
educed from this chaos, the Spanish troops were upon 
them, and this time it was the patriots who were put to 

Another of the bands of one hundred had proceeded, 
meanwhile, to the plains of Santa Isabel. Large num- 
bers of patriots rallied to their assistance, but the attack- 
ing Spanish force, nearly a thousand strong, and con- 
sisting of both cavalry and infantry, cast far too great 
odds against them. The patriots again suffered defeat, 
and their losses were twenty killed and forty captured 
by the enemy, while the Spanish casualties were one hun- 
dred and thirty, fifty of whom were killed outright. 

A third band of one hundred, which had as its com- 
mander Don Serapin Recio, made its way to Santa Cruz. 
They were more fortunate than had been their comrades, 
for when they were attacked by four companies of Span- 
ish infantry, under Colonel Conti, they not only were vic- 
torious, but they took Colonel Conti prisoner. This tri- 
umph, however, was short lived, for Spanish reinforce- 
ments, consisting of four hundred cavalrymen, were 
rushed to the scene of battle, and the tide turned against 
the patriots. Recio was captured, fifty six revolutionists 
soon lay dead or dying, and as the others sought to escape 
a large proportion of them were taken captive. 

Still a fourth band, advancing on Punta de Grandao, 
met with disaster, as did the fifth division which had gone 
toward La Siguanea in the hope of taking that place. 

Only one little division of patriots, one hundred strong, 
remained unconquered. Aguero, who had made his 
escape after the defeat at Las Tunas, took command of 
this company. The city of Nuevitas was entered in tri- 


umph, amid shouts of welcome from the people, who in 
large numbers threw in their fortunes with the revolu- 
tion. Don Carlos Comus led the Spanish forces against 
the city, and a desperate battle which raged for over three 
hours was fought. The ammunition of the patriots was 
exhausted, and fighting against frightful odds, they were 
almost exterminated; fewer than the original one hun- 
dred remained alive. They fled, and were speedily cap- 
tured by the pursuing Spaniards. 

Complete defeat had now overtaken the revolutionists, 
who so boldly on July 3 had declared their independence 
of Spain, and thrown a defiant gauntlet before the Span- 
ish power. By the end of July not a single one of the 
original army remained at large to tell the story; they had 
all been killed, captured, or frightened into cowed and 
silent obedience to Spanish rule. Of those who had 
fallen into the hands of the Spaniards, every one was 
tried by military tribunal, and sentence passed upon them. 
Two courts sat in judgment on the offenders, one at 
Puerto Principe and the other at Trinidad, at which 
latter the Captain-General, Jose de la Concha, presided. 
Under his dictation sentence of death was pronounced 
upon Jose Isidore Armenteros, Fernando Hernandez and 
Rafael Arcis, all recognized as prime movers in the revo- 
lution. Ignacio Belen Perez, Nestor Cadalso, Juan 
O'Bourke, Abeja Iznaga Miranda and Jose Maria Rodri- 
guez were sentenced to ten years' imprisonment, which 
was to be suffered abroad, and they were forever banished 
from Cuba, while the same terms were imposed on Juan 
Hevia and Avelind Porada, whose sentences, however, 
were shortened to eight years each, and Pedro Jose 
Pomarcz, Foribio Garcia, Cruz Birba and Fernando 
Medinilla were also banished, and condemned to two 
years' imprisonment. All sentences went into effect on 


August 18. It is interesting to note in passing a fact 
which seems quite in keeping with the Spanish character 
as demonstrated by the administration of the island; the 
men who were condemned to death were led out into a 
field by the name of Del Negro, near the city of Trinidad, 
and shot in the back. 

The court which sat in judgment at Puerto Principe 
tried the leader of the revolutionists, and brave Joaquin 
Aguero was condemned to die by the garrote. The same 
sentence was imposed on Jose Thomas Betancourt, Fer- 
nando de Zayas and Miguel Benavides; while Miguel 
Castellanos and Adolfo Pierre Aguero were sentenced to 
ten years' imprisonment, which sentences were all decreed 
to take effect on August 12. 

It was impossible, even with the strict censorship which 
the Spanish Captain-General maintained over the island, 
to keep reports of the stirring events which were taking 
place from leaking forth into the outer world. Of course, 
Lopez and the junta at New York learned of them through 
the channels known only to themselves, and the news, 
spreading to all parts of the United States, caused tre- 
mendous excitement. Great interest was manifested, 
particularly in the southern states, and in New York City, 
where the members of the Cuban junta had begun to stir 
up a considerable amount of interest in and sympathy for 
the Cubans. The New York papers dispatched corre- 
spondents to obtain the true story of the rebellion, but 
the reporters had difficulty in getting into the country, 
and encountered still greater obstacles in dispatching 
what news they could gather to their respective sheets. 
They were hampered in their efforts by Spanish officials 
and Spanish spies were always at their heels. 

While the main uprising had been in the vicinity of 
Puerto Principe, incipient rebellions and sympathetic in- 


surrections occurred in other parts of the island, which 
were quickly quelled by overwhelming forces of Span- 
iards, and the news of which was confined as much as 
possible to the immediate vicinity of the uprisings. At 
Trinidad a mob assembled on horseback, crying ven- 
geance on the Spanish oppressors, but they were soon 
driven from the city and obliged to take to' cover on a 
densely wooded hill, where their movements were so ham- 
pered by underbrush that they were perforce compelled 
to abandon their mounts, and soon surrendered to su- 
perior numbers. It was suspected that the inhabitants of 
Havana, or rather the revolutionary sympathizers in that 
place, were about to revolt, but the guard was redoubled, 
the crowd was overawed by numbers of well armed troops, 
and the movement, if it ever had been contemplated, never 
materialized. However, many of the wealthy inhabitants, 
fearing that they might be seized on suspicion of com- 
plicity with the revolutionists, hastily fled to their estates 
in the country. 

The New York Herald, which for a long time had been 
sympathetically inclined toward the revolutionary party 
in Cuba, on July 16, 1851, printed the following report, 
which was based on facts gathered by its correspondent: 

"I consider that, in a political point of view, this island 
was never in a more critical state than it is at this present 
moment. The Creoles of Cuba have at length thrown 
down the gauntlet of defiance to the authority of Spain." 

This statement was followed by a long account of the 
engagements between the revolutionists and the forces of 
Spain. On July 22 the same paper, under the guise of 
reporting conditions, issued what was really a call of 
"The United States to the rescue," which in part read as 
follows : 

"The revolution of Cuba has changed from chrysalis 


to full grown fly. The first blood has been spilled. 
Cuba, some seem to think, has had her Lexington. . . . 
The revolution having begun, it cannot go backward; 
and it is more than probable that the days of Spain's rule 
are at least to be much embarrassed. The government 
counts 14,000 troops, and no more, in all the island, and 
may, perhaps, be able to raise as many more from the 
Spanish population; but their fleet is a good one, com- 
prising some twenty vessels, of which six are steamers. 
Whether the struggle be a long one or a short one, will 
depend on the 'aid and comfort' the Cubans receive from 
the United States, in the shape of guns, pistols, powder, 
ball and men that can teach them to organize and 


IT will be recalled that the Cubans, in the first flush 
of victory, had dispatched the good tidings to the Cuban 
Junta in New York City. These reports were so san- 
guine of victory that even though later rumors of defeat 
at the hands of the Spaniards did reach that body, they 
were regarded as Spanish propaganda and suppressed. 
These adverse rumors were vague, and unsupported by 
confirming data, and Spanish spies had been for some 
time active in dispensing unreliable news favorable to 
their country, so it is not strange that little credence was 
given to such advices as came to the Junta from Spanish 
sources. Lopez himself was overjoyed at the tidings from 
the patriots and began eagerly to organize another expedi- 
tion. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed among Cuban 
sympathizers in the United States. In some places, par- 
ticularly in the south, public meetings were held, and 
proclamations of the liberty of Cuba were read to the as- 
sembled crowds. Men crowded to enlist and $50,000 was 
quickly raised to finance the expedition. The new re- 
cruits to the ranks were of by far the best character yet 
enlisted. They seem to have been, for the most part, actu- 
ated by the highest motives, and aflame with zeal for the 
cause of Cuban liberty. Garibaldi, who was then in the 
United States, is reported to have been approached to be 
the leader of the new expedition, but because he had his 
own Italian matters to attend to, he declined with regret. 

The United States Government, of course, gave no 
official sanction to the project, but it was deterred by the 
preponderance of favorable public opinion from putting 



more than nominal obstacles in its way; avoiding on the 
one hand the storm of protest which was bound to be 
raised by Cuban sympathizers at any marked interfer- 
ence with their plans, and on the other the anger of Spain 
and thus an international complication. Spanish spies 
were as heretofore dogging the steps of the conspirators, 
and reporting their findings to the Spanish minister at 
Washington, so that the United States Government found 
itself in an exceedingly difficult position. However, 
preparations went on apace. A steamer, the Pampero, 
was purchased by the Junta, and well stocked with pro- 
visions. Arms and ammunitions were also procured, but 
these were, as was usual, to be delivered to the steamer 
on the high seas. 

At daybreak, on the morning of April 3, the Pampero 
slipped from its dock at the foot of Lafayette Street in 
New Orleans, and made its way down the river. At the 
mouth of the harbor the difficulties of the filibusters 
began. The vessel was overloaded, and Captain Lewis 
in the interests of safety declined to proceed further un- 
til some of the party had been sent ashore. A landing 
was made that night, and one hundred men were de- 
tailed to be left behind. They protested vigorously 
against this action. The plan was that the Pampero was 
to be only one of many vessels to be sent within the next 
month to the relief of the Cubans, and that she was to 
return, immediately her company had been landed in 
Cuba, for reinforcements which would be assembled and 
be in waiting to sail. However, none of the company 
on the Pampero desired to await another sailing, and 
when she once more put out to sea it was discovered that 
the number on board her had not been perceptibly les- 
sened, since many of those put on shore had, in the con- 
fusion, and under the cover of darkness, stolen back on 


board and hidden themselves securely until she was once 
more on her way. 

The expedition thus auspiciously started was made up 
of the following men and officers : 

6 Companies of Infantry, including officers 219 men 
3 " Artillery, " " 114 men 

1 Company " Cuban patriots (domiciled 

in the United States) . . 49 men 

1 " Hungarian recruits 9 men 

1 " German recruits 9 men 

The command of this little army was distributed as 
follows : 

General-in-Chief Narciso Lopez 

SeJond-in-Command and Chief-of-Staff . . . John Pragay 
Officers of Staff 

Captain Emmerich Radwitch. 
Ludwig Schlessinger. 

Lieutenant Joseph Lewohl. 
Jigys Rodendorf. 

Adjutant Colengen. 

Surgeon Hega Lemmgue. 

Commissary G. A. Cook. 
Staff of the Regiment of Infantry 

Colonel R. L. Dorman. 

Lieutenant Colonel W. Scott Harkness. 

Adjutant George A. Graham. 

Commissary Joseph Bell. 

Adjutant of Regiment George Parr. 
Company A. 

Captain Robert Ellis. 

Lieutenant E. McDonald. 


Sub-Lieutenant J. L. LaHascan. 

" R. H. Breckinridge. 

Company B. 

Captain John Johnson. 

First Lieutenant James Dunn. 

Second " J. F. Williams. 

Third " James O'Reilly. 
Company C. 

Captain J. C. Bridgham. 

First Lieutenant Richard Vowden. 

Second J. A. Gray. 

Third " J. N. Baker. 
Company D. 

Captain Philip Golday. 

First Lieutenant David Rassan. 

Second " James H. Landingham. 

Third " James H. Vowden. 
Company E, 

Captain Henry Jackson. 

First Lieutenant William Hobbs. 

Second " J. A. Simpson. 

Third " James Crangh. 
Company F. 

Captain William Stewart. 

First Lieutenant James L. Down. 

Second John L. Bass. 

Third " Thomas Hudwall. 
Regiment of Artillery Officers of Staff. 

Chief William S. Crittenden. 

Adjutant R. L. Stanford. 

Second Master of Commissariat Felix Hustin. 

Surgeon Ludovic Vinks. 
Company A. 

Captain W. A. Kelly. 


First Lieutenant N. O. James. 

Second James A. Nowens. 

Third " J. O. Bryce. 
Company B. 

Captain James Saunders. 

First Lieutenant Philip VanVechten. 

Second Beverly A. Hunter. 

Third " William H. Craft. 
Company C. 

Captain Victor Kerr. 

First Lieutenant James Brandt. 

Second William T. Vienne. 

Regiment of Cuban Patriots. 
Company A. 

Captain Ilde Foussee Overto. 

First Lieutenant De Jiga Hernandez. 

Second Miguel Lopez. 

Third " Jose A. Plands. 

Fourth Henry Lopez. 

Regiment of Hungarians. 

Major George Botilla. 

Captain Ladislaus Polank. 

Lieutenant Semerby. 

Johan Petroce. 
Adambert Kerskes. 
Conrad Richner. 
German Regiment. 

Captain Pietra Muller. 
Hugo Schlyct. 

Lieutenant Paul Michael. 
Biro Cambeas. 
Giovana Placasee. 

This seems perhaps an elaborate organization for so 
small a force, but it must be borne in mind that Lopez 


and his followers firmly believed that this time there was 
to be no repetition of the former lack of enthusiasm on the 
part of the Cubans, but that they had only to land to be 
greeted with rejoicing, and to have flock to their assistance 
a great number of Cuban patriots. This impression was 
increased by forged letters which Lopez, however, ac- 
cepted as genuine which were waiting for them at Key 
West and which are now believed to have been written 
by a follower of Lopez in Havana, under duress and in- 
timidating threats of Captain-General Concha, for the 
latter having learned of the expedition resorted to treach- 
ery to thwart the plans of the filibusters. These letters 
intimated that Pinar del Rio and many cities in that 
vicinity were in open revolt against Spanish rule, and 
prayed that Lopez come quickly to the aid of the rebels, 
who were eager to join him. 

Colonel Crittenden, in command of the artillery regi- 
ment, was a man of the highest connections in the United 
States. He was a seasoned soldier, being a veteran of 
the Mexican war, and having received his training at 
West Point. In Lopez's band were also several officers 
from the United States Custom House at New Orleans, 
and many men from the best families of the South. 

On April 7 the smoke of a steamer was seen in the dis- 
tance, and it soon seemed to indicate that the Pampero 
was being pursued. Her course was changed, and she 
either succeeded in outdistancing her pursuer, or the lat- 
ter decided that a mistake had been made in the identity 
of the vessel, and abandoned the chase. The expedition 
neared Key West, and they expected to find there United 
States vessels of war, and a strong garrison. Therefore 
an attempt was made to disguise the character of the 
Pampero and her purpose, and the men were all ordered 
below. Lopez was delighted to find that his anticipa- 


tions were wrong, for there were no men of war in the 
harbor and the barracks were empty. As the Pampero 
docked, and the men came on deck, they were greeted by 
a shouting mob of enthusiastic people. They were wel- 
comed as heroes, and the inhabitants came on board bear- 
ing food of the most tempting variety and cases of cham- 
pagne. A feast followed, at which the health of the fili- 
busters and the success of the expedition was drunk with 
shouts of approval. 

Now the expectation had been to go up the St. John's 
River, where a quantity of artillery for Colonel Critten- 
den's regiment had been hidden, but the false reports in 
the forged letters made Lopez anxious to be on his way 
to Cuba, and it was argued that the artillery would be 
ineffective in the first engagements, for the roads were 
very bad, and Lopez hoped to take to the mountains and 
conduct a sort of guerrilla warfare. The St. John's 
River was some distance away, and there was always fear 
of interference from the United States Government; and 
besides, since this was merely a vanguard for a much 
greater invasion of Cuba, and was intended to pave the 
way for the coming forces, why not proceed to the res- 
cue of the Cuban insurgents and let those who would 
follow bring the artillery? Consequently, after consul- 
tation with his officers, Lopez decided to sail for Cuba 
by the shortest route. 

On nine o'clock of the morning of August 1 1 , the fili- 
busters found themselves about ten miles from the har- 
bor of Havana. Off Bahia Honda they took on a pilot. 
Meanwhile, two vessels were sighted, and were believed 
to be Spanish ships lying in wait for the expedition. A 
contest of wits ensued, in which Lopez was victorious, 
and the Pampero successfully evaded her pursuers. At 
eight o'clock that night they neared Morillo, and Lopez 


decided there to make his landing. At eleven o'clock this 
was accomplished, and while the provisions, arms and 
ammunition were being brought ashore, the men were 
given permission to lie down on their arms and rest for 
two hours. It can be imagined that they were in the 
highest state of excitement and in no condition to sleep, 
even if the attacks of mosquitoes had not made this 

Now the information which Captain-General Concha 
had received concerning the expedition had led him to 
believe that the landing would be made at Mantua, and 
he was delighted when information reached him, as it 
speedily did, that the filibusters had gone ashore at 
Morillo. He quickly dispatched Colonel Morales by rail 
to Guanajay, where he collected a Spanish force of about 
four hundred men, who were instructed to attack from 
the front; while General Ena from Bahia Honda and 
Colonel Elezalde from Pinar del Rio were to join forces 
to cut off retreat, if the filibusters attempted to escape 
by sea, and thus Concha hoped to surround and destroy 
the army of invasion. 

Meanwhile, the Pampero had been cleared, and under 
orders from Lopez set out on a return trip to Key West 
to bring reinforcements, and Lopez decided to march his 
forces to Las Pozas, ten miles away. Contrary to their 
expectations, the filibusters had found the town of Morillo 
practically deserted, and there were no enthusiastic pa- 
triots to welcome their would-be deliverers. Now diffi- 
culty arose as to transportation of the provisions, and the 
main portions of the military supplies. There was no 
practical means of conveying them to Las Pozas, and 
in consequence Lopez made a mistake which afterward 
proved his undoing. He concluded to divide his forces, 
leaving Crittenden, with a hundred and twenty men, to 


guard the supplies, and himself, with the remainder of 
his army, to push on to Las Pozas. 

He reached this objective without mishap, but again 
found conditions very different from what he had been 
led to expect. This town, too, was almost deserted, and 
there was the same disheartening lack of support, and 
failure of the Cubans to join his expedition. Lopez de- 
termined that on this occasion there should be no occasion 
to bring against his army the accusations which the 
Spaniards had made at Matanzas. He therefore or- 
dered his men to accept nothing in the way of food for 
which they did not pay, and he stationed guards at places 
where liquor was sold to prevent any drunkenness on 
the part of his men. In consequence the best of order 

An attack from the Spaniards was momentarily ex- 
pected, and Lopez maintained a careful watch for the 
approach of the enemy. This was delayed until the next 
morning, when, in spite of his precautions, he was taken 
virtually by surprise. A portion of his forces were eat- 
ing their breakfast, while others were bathing in a nearby 
stream, when word came that the Spanish had overpow- 
ered the outposts, were then within two hundred yards 
of the village, and that the attacking force was estimated 
to be twelve hundred strong. Lopez hastily issued the 
call to arms, and his men were arrayed to meet the 
on-coming Spaniards. A hot battle ensued, in which, in 
spite of the fact that they were so largely outnumbered, 
the filibusters were victorious and forced the Spaniards 
to retire. However, Lopez suffered a very great blow in 
the death of Colonel Dorman, who was the best discipli- 
narian and most efficient organizer and drill-master in 
the army, while Colonel Pragay, Lopez's chief adviser 
who, however, had been responsible for persuading Lopez 


to make the mistake of leaving Crittenden behind was 
also killed, as was Captain Overto. The other casual- 
ties amounted to fifty killed and wounded. Even the 
fact that the Spanish losses were far heavier did not com- 
pensate for the loss to Lopez of his three brave com- 

Lopez's army had been increased by only a few stray 
Cubans, whom they had encountered on their march to 
Las Pozas, and who had joined fortunes with them. He 
now had fifty-three less men that at first, and besides he 
was separated from his stores. Unless they were 
promptly brought forward, or unless he returned to 
Morillo and Crittenden, he would be in a serious situa- 
tion, since help from the natives was not materializing. 
While he was contemplating this situation, a messenger 
arrived from Crittenden, asking permission to join Lopez, 
and the messenger was promptly ordered to return with 
orders to Crittenden to march his forces to Pinar del Rio 
to join Lopez there, and Lopez headed his men toward 
the mountains, with the intention of pushing on to Pinar 
del Rio. 

Promptly on receipt of the desired permission from 
Lopez, Crittenden, with his one hundred and twenty men, 
set out to join him. They had proceeded only three miles 
when the little band was attacked by a body of five hun- 
dred Spaniards. Crittenden's men quickly took to cover, 
and fought so desperately that in spite of the fact that 
they were so greatly outnumbered, they killed a large 
number of the Spanish forces, and put the others to rout. 
But Crittenden, it would seem, had not learned the proper 
lesson from the earlier division of Lopez's forces, and 
his own plight in consequence, for he now decided to 
make the mistake a second time. The little band had 
made slow progress, because of the necessity for trans- 


porting the supplies in carts, and Crittenden made up his 
mind to leave Captain Kelly for the time with forty men 
to defend the supplies, and with the remaining eighty 
himself to lead an attack against the Spaniards who were 
now rallying. But the Spanish soldiers were better 
trained than were Crittenden's men, and the Spanish 
leader was cleverer in manoeuvres and had a greater 
knowledge of the country. He had no difficulty in ef- 
fecting a separation between the two bodies of Critten- 
den's men, and he forced those under Crittenden to flee 
for their lives. They took refuge in a wooded ravine, 
where they remained for two days and nights without 
food and without water, in constant terror of a Spanish 
attack. Realizing that if they stayed where they were 
they faced no better fate than slow starvation, they finally, 
under cover of the night, emerged from their hiding-place 
and made their way to the coast, where they took posses- 
sion of four small boats and set out to sea, in the hope 
of reaching Key West, or of being picked up by some 
other expedition, since they had no doubt that several 
were already on their way from the United States. Two 
days later, starving, and almost mad for want of fresh 
water, driven by the tides back to the shore and aground 
on the rocks, they were captured and taken to Havana. 

The Spanish General Bustillos, gives the following ac- 
count of their apprehension: 

"Your Excellency: I started yesterday from Bahia 
Honda, in the steamer Habanera, with a view to recon- 
noiter the coast of Playitas and Morillo, in order to re- 
move all the means by which the pirates could possibly 
escape ; or in case of more expeditions to these points, to 
remove the means of disembarkation. At seven o'clock 
in the morning, I communicated with the inhabitants of 
Morillo, and was informed by the inhabitants that, at 10 


o'clock on the preceding night, one part of them em- 
barked in four boats. Having calculated the hour of 
their sailing and distance probably made in 10 hours, 
and supposing they had taken the direction of New Or- 
leans I proceeded in that direction 18 miles, with full 
steam, but after having accomplished that distance, I 
could not discover any of those I pursued. Believing the 
road they had followed was within the rocks, I directed 
my steamer to that point, and made the greatest exertions 
to encounter the fugitive pirates. At 10 o'clock I de- 
tected the 4 boats navigating along the coast and I 
could only seize one. Two others were upon the rocks 
of the island, the fourth upon the rocks of Cargo Levisa. 
When I seized the men of the first boat, I armed the boats 
of the ship in order to pursue the second and third, which 
were on the rocks, but the officers of the army who were 
in the boats, as well as the troops and sailors, the com- 
mander of the boat, Don Ignacio de Arrellano and the 
captain of the steamer Cardenas, Don Francisco Estolt 
threw themselves in the water to pursue the pirates of 
whom two only escaped. Having left their arms we did 
not pursue them in order to occupy ourselves with the 
boat in Cargo Levisa, for it was one of the largest and 
contained more men. These, twenty-four in number, 
were hidden within a small neck, having the boat drawn 
up among the rocks; and here the pirates were seized. 
The number of prisoners was fifty well armed men, 
headed by a chief and five officers." 

When the captives reached Havana, they were brought 
up on deck, stripped except for their undershirts and 
trousers, and before the people who had assembled at 
the dock they were made to undergo the greatest indig- 
nities. Not only were they grossly insulted by word of 
mouth; they were spit upon, and railed at, kicked and 


assaulted; nothing seemed too harsh or vile for their 
captors to do in venting their spleen. 

Meanwhile, when the Captain-General was apprised of 
their arrival, he sent spies to them to take down their 
statements and farewell messages, promising to transmit 
these to their families, but in reality his agents were in- 
structed to use every effort to influence each man to in- 
form on the others. In this, however, they were en- 
tirely unsuccessful. Concha announced his intention of 
dealing summarily with the offenders, as a warning to 
others who might contemplate an invasion of Cuba. 
Therefore, without even the pretense of a trial, the fol- 
lowing decree was issued against them: 

"It having been decreed by the general order of April 
20 last, and subsequently reproduced, what was to be the 
fate of the pirates who should dare to profane the soil of 
this island, and in view of the declarations of the fifty 
individuals who have been taken by his Excellency the 
Commander-General of this naval station, and placed at 
my disposal, which declarations establish the identity of 
their persons, as pertaining to the horde commanded by 
the traitor Lopez, I have resolved in accordance with the 
provisions of the Royal Ordinances, General Laws of the 
Kingdom, and particularly in the Royal Order of the 12th 
of June of the past year, issued for this particular case, 
that the said individuals, whose names and designations 
are set forth in the following statement, suffer this day 
the pain of death, by being shot, the execution being com- 
mitted to the Sefior Teniente de Rey, Brigadier of the 


Attached to this document was the following list of 
names. Since it is known that fifty-two men were shot, 
the list is accordingly incomplete: 


"Colonel W. S. Crittenden; Captains F. S. Sewer, Vic- 
tor Kerr, and T. B. Veacey; Lieutenants James Brandt, 
J. O. Bryce, Thomas C. James, and M. H. Homes; Doc- 
tors John Fisher and R. A. Tourniquet; Sergeants J. 
Whiterous and A. M. Cotchett; Adjutant B. C. Stanford; 
Privates Samuel Mills, Edward Bulman, George A. Ar- 
nold, B. J. Wregy, William Niseman, Anselmo Torres, 
Hernandez, Robert Cantley, John G. Sanka, James 
Stanton, Thomas Harnett, Alexander Mclllger, Patrick 
Dillon, Thomas Hearsey, Samuel Reed, H. T. Vinne, M. 
Philips, James L. Manville, G. M. Green, J. Salmon, 
Napoleon Collins, N. H. Fisher, William Chilling, G. A. 
Cook, S. O. Jones, M. H. Ball, James Buxet, Robert 
Caldwell, C. C. William Smith, A. Ross, P. Brouke, John 
Christides, William B. Little, John Stibbs, James Ellis, 
William Hogan, Charles A. Robinson." 

On August 16, early in the morning, the prisoners were 
taken from the vessel and brought to the Castle of Atares 
for execution. An appeal was made to the American 
Consul at Havana, F. A. Owens, to use his influence with 
the Captain-General to obtain some clemency for the 
condemned men, but he not only declined on the ground 
that they had been declared outlaws by the American 
Government, but he seemed to be utterly lacking in kind- 
ness of heart or compassion, for he refused to see the men, 
or to make any attempt to transmit their last messages to 
their friends and families. 

An eye witness thus describes the execution: 

"Havana, August 16, 4^2 P. M. 

"I have this day been witness to one of the most brutal 
acts of wanton inhumanity ever perpetrated in the annals 
of history. Not content was this government in reveng- 
ing themselves in the death of those unfortunate and per- 
haps misguided men, and which, it may even be said, was 


brought upon themselves; but these Spanish authorities 
deserve to be most severely chastised for their exceedingly 
reprehensible conduct in permitting the desecration, as 
they have done, of the senseless clay of our brave coun- 
trymen. This morning forty Americans, four Irish, one 
Scotch, one Italian, one Philippine Islander, two Ha- 
baneros and two Germans or Hungarians, were shot at 1 1 
o'clock; after which the troops were ordered to retire and 
some hundreds of the violent rabble, hired for the pur- 
pose commenced mutilating the dead bodies. Oh! the 
very remembrance of the sight is frightful. 

"I never saw men and could scarcely have supposed 
it possible conduct themselves at such an awful mo- 
ment with the fortitude these men displayed under such 
trying circumstances. They were shot, six at a time, i.e., 
twelve men were brought to the place of execution, six 
made to kneel down and receive the fire of the soldiers, 
after which the remaining six were made to walk around 
their dead comrades and kneel opposite to them, when 
they were also shot. They died bravely, those gallant 
and unfortunate young gentlemen. When the moment 
of execution came, many, Colonel Crittenden and Cap- 
tain Victor Kerr among them, refused to kneel with their 
backs to the executioners. 'No,' said the chivalrous 
Crittenden, 'an American kneels only to his God, and 
always faces his enemy ! ' They stood up, faced their 
executioners, were shot down and their brains then 
knocked out by clubbed muskets. After being stripped 
and their bodies mutilated, they were shoved, six or seven 
together, bound as they were, into hearses, which were 
used last year for cholera cases. No coffins were al- 
lowed them. 

"A finer looking set of young men I never saw; they 
made not a single complaint, not a murmur, against their 


sentence, and decency should have been shown their dead 
bodies in admiration for the heroism they displayed when 
brought out for execution. Not a muscle was seen to 
move, and they proved to the miserable rabble congre- 
gated to witness the horrible spectacle that it being the 
fortunes of war that they fell into the power of this gov- 
ernment, they were not afraid to die. It would have 
been a great consolation to these poor fellows, as they 
repeatedly asked, to see their consul, and through him to 
have sent their last adieus, and such little remembrances 
as they had, to their beloved relations in the States. But 
Mr. Owens, the American Consul, did not even make ap- 
plication to the Captain-General to see these unfortunate 
countrymen in their distress, and their sacred wishes in 
their last moments have been unattended to. Lastly, at 
the very hour of triumph, when the people of the Spanish 
steamer Habanero knew that the execution of the Ameri- 
can prisoners, whom they had taken to Havana, had 
taken place, two shots were fired across or at the steamer 
Falcon off Bahia Honda; and notwithstanding that this 
vessel was well known to them, having as she had the 
American flag hoisted, etc., she was detained and over- 
hauled by these Spanish officers." 

Another reliable source, the report of an American 
naval officer, furnished the information, that after the 
prisoners had been shot, their bodies were mutilated ; they 
were dragged by the heels, and outraged in a manner 
which would make the most unenlightened savage shud- 
der; their ears and fingers were cut off, and portions of 
these, together with pieces of skull, were distributed to 
the Spanish officers as souvenirs, while some of these grim 
relics were afterward nailed up in public places as a 
warning against attempts to revolt against the Spanish 


Government. Ten of the bodies were placed in coffins, 
and the rest were merely thrown into a pit. 

When Captain Kelly and his forty followers had been 
separated from Crittenden, they managed in some manner 
the details of which have not come down to us to 
evade the Spaniards and to escape with such supplies 
as they could carry. They took to the cover of the woods, 
and being unfamiliar with the country wandered around, 
until they fell in with a loyal negro who undertook to 
act as guide for them. He led them to a dense wood, in 
sight of Las Pozas, and they sent him on ahead to report 
conditions. He returned, stating that Lopez was in pos- 
session of the town, and so they joined him, just as he 
was about to lead his men into the mountains. Captain 
Kelly's men had been so engrossed with their own pre- 
dicament that they had remained in ignorance of the fate 
of Crittenden's force, and they were therefore unable to 
give Lopez any definite information concerning them, and 
he treasured the hope that they too had escaped the Span- 
iards, and would be able to join him at Pinar del Rio, in 
accordance with the original plan. 

Lopez's forces were now reduced to about three hun- 
dred men, and they found themselves obliged to leave 
their wounded behind them. They pushed forward all 
night, and until about nine in the morning, covering a 
distance of twelve miles. They shot a cow, and roasting 
the meat on the points of their bayonets, ate it without 
bread or salt. They then continued their march until 
eight in the evening, when, utterly worn out, they lay 
down and slept on their arms until midnight. 

The moon was now shining brightly, and Lopez awak- 
ened his tired army, and again they were on their way. 
Shortly after dawn, they reached a plantation, where they 


were received with kindness by the owner, who was in 
sympathy with the cause of Cuban freedom. Two cows 
were killed, and some corn roasted, and once more the lit- 
tle band was refreshed. But now Lopez discovered that 
in the absence of a guide or a compass they had been 
traveling almost in a circle, and instead of going south- 
west toward San Cristobal and Pinar del Rio, they were 
within only three miles of their original landing place, 
where there was a large Spanish force. He immediately 
assembled his footsore companions, who were now almost 
barefoot because the rough and stony passes had worn 
the shoes from their feet, and led them on a forced march. 
Many had already dropped out by fatigue, and the others 
were almost exhausted, but Lopez realized that safety 
could only be assured by putting many miles between his 
men and the Spanish garrison, and reaching, before they 
were overtaken, some place of strong vantage. 

The Spaniards seem, however, to have been thoroughly 
puzzled by Lopez's circuitous course, and they sent word 
to the Captain-General that since they despaired of cap- 
turing him, they felt the best measure to take was an 
effort to induce his men to desert him. Concha, there- 
fore, issued the following proclamation, which was posted 
in conspicuous places all over the vicinity where Lopez 
was supposed to be hiding : 


"The Most Excellent Sefior, the Captain-General, has 
seen proper to direct, under this date, to the chiefs of 
columns in the field and to the Lieutenant-Governors of 
Bahia Honda, Mariel, San Cristobal and Pinar del Rio, 
the following circular: 

"The greater part of the pirates who dared to invade 
the island have been destroyed by the valiant troops of 


that army to whom the lot fell of being destined to pur- 
sue them, as well as by the not less decided and active 
cooperation of all the loyal inhabitants of the district they 
had sought to make their den. Considering, at once, the 
unanimous confession of all those who have been taken 
and executed, that they had been brought here into a 
foreign territory through a complete deception, having 
been made to believe that the country called them, that 
the army would make common cause with them, and that 
triumph would be as easy as it was certain, such being 
the promise of the traitor who led them; and that the 
directors of such a foolish and disorderly enterprise could 
not in any other way have got together the multitude con- 
nected herewith, and also that public vengeance has 
already been satisfied by the severe chastisement inflicted 
on those individuals hitherto captured, as well as those 
that have perished by the balls or the bayonets of our 
gallant troops; and that finally, the time has arrived to 
make use of clemency, according to the dictates of hu- 
manity, I have determined: 

"I. That quarter shall be given to every individual be- 
longing to the band under command of the traitor Lopez 
who shall surrender or be taken by the troops of His Maj- 
esty within four days from the publication of this resolu- 
tion in the respective districts; it being well understood 
that after the expiration of that period the general army 
order of April 20 last will remain in full force as it has 
up to now. 

"II. The individual or individuals belonging to said 
band who shall surrender said leader, Lopez, shall be free 
from all punishment, and if he be a foreigner, shall be 
restored to his own country. 

"This I communicate to you for your exact observ- 


ance, ordering that it be immediately published in all the 
district under your command. God guard your Excel- 
lency many years ! 


"Havana, Aug. 24, 1851." 

Meanwhile stragglers who fell by the wayside, and 
afterward fell into the hands of the Spaniards, were 
brutally treated, and murdered in the most revolting man- 
ner, their bowels being ripped open by bayonets after 
they had been practically flogged to death. 

A native guide who offered his services to Lopez, now 
led him to a coffee plantation near Las Frias. He repre- 
sented to Lopez that the owner was a sympathizer, and 
that the wanderers would be given rest and shelter, and 
a place to hide until the arrival of reinforcements from 
the United States. This guide is believed to have been 
a Spanish spy, for while Lopez and his men were received 
with the greatest courtesy, and entertained for two days 
by the planter, their host secretly dispatched a courier to 
the Spanish leaders, and presently a Spanish army ar- 
rived to attack the filibusters. Lopez dispersed his men, 
who hid themselves behind the trunks of mango trees, 
and picked off the Spanish soldiers, with the result that 
the Spaniards were put to flight, and when word presently 
came that General Eno was advancing to the rescue of 
his compatriots with a force of two thousand men Lopez 
retreated to a high hill, with the remainder of his army, 
now reduced to two hundred and twenty men, many 
of these disabled by wounds. Lopez was in a position 
of vantage, and small parties of his men fired on the ad- 
vancing Spaniards, wounding their commander, and sev- 
eral of their number. 

Lopez now endeavored to reach a plain near San 
Cristobal, but his men were worn out, their clothes torn, 

3HT '! 

nwo <ii */,d fcduO "io wmi'toi'l c-iil Jo 
> ol tqnwttfi oJ riei sd bfuow ii rbidv/ ynomu : noneo^ lo 
j; .isvia KlfinfidanfiH odi lo II^ IJBOI^ arfl gtejso j ;!"> >iJni:8 

i ifiieo ^uoismun lo ^no si atdT iobn9f(] DiJas'tarn io 
,\ m\\--.\ -jrft lo r'noiJDBiitfi -JI09D8 oriJ ^nid->iina ,fiduO lo -TJVH 
-ni lo *w3iuo g 9Jjlv 3>n9fflmi ^nn^-jji^uii 'jrnh -jmg aril Jc 



Each of the Provinces of Cuba has its own characteristic charms 
of scenery; among which it would be rash to attempt to choose. 
Santa Clara boasts the great falls of the Hanebanilla River, a 
scene of majestic splendor. This is one of numerous cataracts on 
the rivers of Cuba, enriching the scenic attractions of the island, 
and at the same time suggesting immense value as sources of in- 
dustrial power. 




e of two th 

! ie rem 

and t 

-d by wounds. L< 
small parties of Ms m-i- 
ndiag their cwv 


;is men were worn out, rn, 


their flesh bruised and bleeding, and their feet lacerated 
so that they could hardly walk. Dissatisfaction and dis- 
may was rife among them, and presently they sent a com- 
mittee to Lopez, asking him to advise them just what he 
intended to do, and what he expected to accomplish, and 
stating that unless he had some good plan, they were 
unwilling to proceed further. Lopez listened to them 
attentively, and asked for suggestions. They were all 
for hiding in the mountains, until relief should be sent 
to them from the country which they all now sorely re- 
gretted leaving. While putting this project into execu- 
tion, they were again attacked by the Spaniards, three or 
four of them were killed, and a number taken prisoners, 
and immediately executed. One hundred and forty men 
escaped with Lopez through the woods. Many of them 
had lost their arms ; only sixty-nine guns remained, while 
on most of these the bayonets were broken. They had 
no food and they killed Lopez's horse and ate it. Open 
dissension broke out among them. Lopez was, as will 
be recalled, under sentence of death, having been con- 
demned, after the betrayal of the first plans to free Cuba, 
to be killed should he ever again be apprehended on the 
island. A price had been set on his head, and now, 
with characteristic self-abnegation, he besought his men 
to deliver him up to the enemy, securing clemency for 
themselves in return for such action. To do them justice, 
they were heartily ashamed, and repudiated the sugges- 
tion. Finally after a long discussion it was decided to 
stake all on one attempt against the Spaniards, and con- 
sequently they made their way again to the plain near 
San Cristobal and there attacked a force of five hundred 
Spanish troops. They were charged by the Spanish cav- 
alry, and all but six were taken prisoners. Lopez and 
his remaining six followers took refuge upon a planta- 


tion. They were received with cordiality and assured of 
the sympathy of their owner, Sefior Castenada, who of- 
fered to hide them until their friends, whom they believed 
to be even then on the ocean, or perhaps making a land- 
ing on the island, should rescue them. He gave them 
good food and drugged wine, and took them to the upper 
part of the house, to his bedrooms, that they might sleep. 
They were utterly exhausted, and soon fell into deep 
slumber, whereupon Castanada notified the Spanish au- 
thorities, who at once sent troops to take the little com- 
pany prisoners. So profound was their sleep that they 
were securely bound before they realized what had hap- 
pened. They were at once taken to Havana, where the 
Captain-General was so delighted at the turn events had 
taken that he issued a proclamation complimenting his 
brave officers on their capture "of this dangerous 

Concha did not accord Lopez a trial, but at once is- 
sued a proclamation ordering his execution. It was 
dated October 31, 1851, and ran as follows: 

"By a superior decree of the Most Excellent Sefior, the 
Governor and Captain-General, Don Narciso Lopez, who 
commanded the band of pirates that disembarked at the 
place called Playitas, to the leeward of the capital on 
the morning of the 12th instant, has been condemned to 
the infamous punishment of the garrote. The execution 
is to take place at seven o'clock in the morning of Septem- 
ber 1st. The troops of all arms composing the garrison 
of the town, and the forces from elsewhere, will assemble 
at sufficient time beforehand, at the camp of the Punta, 
where the scaffold is placed, around which they will form 
a square. The regiment of Galicia will take its station 
in front with a banner displayed. The other corps will 


be present with all their disposable force. The artillery 
will take the right, with the engineers next them; the 
other forces without distinction will occupy the places as- 
signed to them. The cavalry will be stationed according 
to the direction of the Brigadier, the Royal Lieutenant 
commanding the town, who will command the troops, hav- 
ing under his orders the staff officers of the army, and an 
equal number of town adjustants. A true copy. 


The Spanish archives contain the following names of 
members of the Lopez expedition who were taken prison- 
ers about this time and who witnessed the execution of 
their leader. Most of these men after a long imprison- 
ment were finally pardoned, through the intervention of 
powerful friends, and returned to their homes: 

Elias Otis, Michael O'Keenan, John Danton, First 
Lieutenant P. S. VanVechten, M. L. Hefren, Captain 
Robert Ellis, W. Wilson, W. Miller, P. Lacoste, M. 
Lieger, P. Coleman, Henry Smith, Thomas Hilton, First 
Lieutenant E. H. McDonald, D. D. Waif, H. D. Thom- 
ason, Charles A. Conunea, Emanuel R. Wier, First Lieu- 
tenant J. G. Bush, Conrad Taylor, Thomas Denton, C. A. 
McMurray, J. Patan, Conrad Arghalir, Jose Chiceri, G. 
Richardson, John B. Brown, Thomas S. Lee, Captain 
James Aquelli, Franklin Boyd, Thomas Little, Commis- 
sary J. A. Simpson, George Wilson, First Lieutenant D. 
D. Rousseau, First Lieutenant Robert McGrier, J. D. 
Hughes, William H. Vaugale, Francis B. Holmes, Mai- 
bone H. Scott, First Lieutenant W. H. Craft, J. D. Prenit, 
Julio Chasagne, John Cline, George Forster, C. Knoll, 
Nicholas Port, Patrick McGrath, Charles S. Daily, 
James Fiddes, S. H. Prenell, W. L. Wilkinson, C. Cook, 
James Chapman, James Brady, Henry B. Hart, Jacob 


Fonts, Preston Esces, William Cameron, Thomas 
Mourou, Isaac Fresborn, Cornelius Derby, Peter Falbos, 
Benjamin Harrer; 

From England: William Caussans, John Nowes; 

From Ireland: Henry B. Metcalfe, George Metcalfe, 
James Porter, Thomas McDellans; 

From Cuba: Bernardo Allen, Francisco Curbiay 
Garcia, Ramon J. Arnau, Jose Dovren, Manuel Mar- 
tinez, Antonio Hernandez, Martin Milesimo; 

From Germany: Johannes Sucit, Edward Wisse, 
Wilhelm Losner, Robert Seelust, Ciriac Senelpi; 

From Matanzas: Ramon Ignacio Amaso; 

From Hungary: George Baptista; 

From New Granada : Andres Gonzales ; 

From Alquizar: Francisco A. Leve; 

From Bayamo : Manuel Diaz ; 

From Navarre: Antonio Romero; 

From Spain : Francisco J . Zamaro ; 

Nationality not Stated: Antonio L. Alfonso, Manuel 
Aragon, Jose Bojanoti y Rubina, Joaquin Casanova, 
Miguel Guerra, William MacKinney, Dandrig Seay, 
Leonardo Sugliorti, J. D. Baker and Luis Bander. 

In accordance with the Captain-General's proclama- 
tion, the execution of Lopez took place on the morning 
of September 1 . The scaffold was erected on a platform 
ten feet high, in a flat space opposite Morro. The gar- 
rote consists of a post, and a stool on which sits the 
prisoner, while a metal collar is passed around his neck 
and fastens him securely to the post. A screw having 
long arms is attached to the post, by means of which, at 
one turn, metal points are thrust into the victim's neck, 
causing dislocation and death. 

There were present on this occasion, three thousand 
infantry, two hundred cavalry and twenty thousand wit- 


nesses. Lopez presented a calm and dignified appear- 
ance. With his hands tightly bound he walked to the 
front of the platform and said in a strong, clear voice : 

"I pray the persons who have compromised me to 
pardon me, as I pardon them. My death will not change 
the destinies of Cuba." 

Then as the executioner bade him be quick, he ex- 
claimed : 

"Adieu, my comrades! Adieu, my beloved Cuba, 

Thus died a man, as brave in his last hours as he had 
been during all the strange fortunes and vicissitudes of 
his adventurous life, who had sacrificed everything for a 
principle which seemed to him dearer than all the ma- 
terial benefits which the world might have conferred upon 
him. The Spanish leaders destroyed his body, but they 
could never destroy that far more precious thing, the 
spirit of freedom which he had instilled in the minds and 
the hearts of the Cubans, and which was to live after him 
and at last lead Cuba to victory. 


LOPEZ had failed. Such was the obvious judgment of 
the world. Upon the face of the matter, his expedition 
had ended in disaster and utter tragedy. The first se- 
rious attempt to achieve the separation of Cuba from 
Spain had come to naught. It had been completely sup- 
pressed and its promoters had been destroyed. 

In a broader, deeper and more significant sense, how- 
ever, the enterprise and sacrifice of Lopez and his com- 
rades had splendidly succeeded. That valiant pioneer 
of Cuban liberation had indeed "builded better than he 
knew." For his enterprise marked an epoch in Cuban 
history; the most important since Columbus's discovery 
of the island. The abortive attempts at emancipation, 
which had been sporadically but feebly active since the 
days of the emulators of Bolivar, had by Lopez's efforts 
been marvelously and effectively resuscitated. The 
movement which had been nurtured by the "Soles de Boli- 
var," but which its members had been unable, because of 
smallness of numbers and lack of funds and of leader- 
ship, to make much more than a cherished ideal for the 
attempts at revolt had been still-born, choked almost on 
their conception had under Lopez been imbued with 
lusty life, and was never again to languish. A force had 
been set in operation which could not and did not cease 
its action until, though many weary years afterward, the 
end which Lopez had foreseen was attained, and Cuba 
was securely placed among the independent nations of the 
world. We say that Lopez "builded better than he 

knew." That was literally true because his plans were 



merely for the transfer of Cuban sovereignty from op- 
pressive and reactionary Spain to liberal and progressive 
America ; building upon the foundation thus outlined by 
him, subsequent bolder spirits constructed the trium- 
phant edifice of complete independence of which he had 
not so much as dreamed. 

The immediate results of the Lopez expedition were 
prodigious. It is not easy, at this time and distance, to 
appreciate fully the tremendous sensation which was 
caused, not only in Cuba and in Spain, but, to a con- 
siderable extent, throughout the world, or at least, 
throughout that most important portion of the world 
which had its frontage upon the Atlantic Ocean, and 
which possessed more or less direct interests in the coun- 
tries of the Caribbean Sea. For a full appreciation of 
this, it is necessary to take into consideration certain 
circumstances which are now almost forgotten. 

We must remember that down to this time the world 
at large had been profoundly ignorant of Cuba, save in 
the most general and external manner. Spain, as we 
have already indicated in these pages, had long pursued 
a persistent policy of secrecy and isolation. Cuba was 
not allowed to know much of the outside world, and the 
outside world was not allowed to know much of Cuba. 
A strict censorship was maintained over information both 
entering and leaving the island. Marked inhospitality 
was shown to travelers and visitors to discourage them 
from penetrating the island or acquainting themselves 
with the real condition of its affairs. Practically Cuba 
remained, so far as its social, economic and political con- 
ditions were concerned, a terra incognita. The world 
knew almost nothing of its natural wealth and its ines- 
timable resources, its potentialities of greatness. 

Now, in the baleful light of a great tragedy, the island 


was suddenly thrust forward into the world's most in- 
tense publicity. From being a minor colonial possession 
of a decadent power, it was transformed into one of the 
foremost international issues. The eyes of two conti- 
nents were fixed upon it, while the hands of those conti- 
nents involuntarily reached for sword hilts in preparation 
for a decisive conflict which might shake the foundations 
of the civilized world. 

Let us consider first the interests and sentiments of 
Spain at this great crisis in her affairs. Hitherto she had 
regarded Cuba as a helpless province, politically negligi- 
ble, although economically of immense value as the 
"milch cow of the Peninsula." The several insurrections 
which had occurred had indeed been annoying, and, at 
times, costly, but they had been suppressed with little 
difficulty, and there had never been a thought of their 
really menacing Spain's sovereignty over the island. 
Nor had there been any fear of losing the island through 
alien aggression or intervention. Spain's title to Cuba 
had been repeatedly underwritten by the United States 
of America, at the hands of John Quincy Adams, Henry 
Clay and John Forsyth; as we have hitherto seen. For 
a full generation Spain had confidently depended upon 
both the purpose and the power of the United States to 
protect her in her ownership of Cuba. But now came a 
revolt which in itself was immeasurably more formidable 
than all the slave insurrections put together, and which 
was, most ominous of all, operated from the United States, 
with the obvious sympathy, if not with the actual aid, of 
the people of that country. This powerful protector of 
Spain in Cuba was assuming the character of a possible 
conqueror. The troubles of Cuba were, therefore, no 
longer merely local, nor even national; they had risen 
to international proportions. They menaced not only the 


domestic tranquillity of Spain, but also her international 
relations with that power from which, of all in the world, 
she had cause most to fear. 

No less marked was the effect of these events upon the 
Cubans. They were made to feel that at last "the die 
was cast." An irrevocable step had been taken. The 
dreamer had awakened ; plans and conspiracies had been 
transmuted into militant action. It is true that com- 
paratively few of the Cubans had been directly con- 
cerned or, at least, could be proved to have been directly 
concerned in the undertakings of Lopez, but it was quite 
certain that thereafter they would all be regarded as hav- 
ing sympathized, and as being potential insurgents, with 
arms as well as with ideas. Nothing thereafter could 
ever be as it had been before. The Cuban people were 
vicariously committed to the policy of forcible separation 
from Spain. War was begun and it would be war to the 
knife, and the knife to the hilt. 

In Cuba, the Spanish authorities realized this change 
in Cuban sentiment, and kept a sharp outlook for any 
signs of uprising. They also "made examples" of any 
and everyone who came under suspicion of having been 
in sympathy with Lopez, or of having any plans for start- 
ing a similar movement. Thus some boys, who were out- 
spoken in their expressions of sympathy with the cause 
of freedom from Spain, were seized and summarily exe- 
cuted without trial. Feeling ran high; native born 
Cubans refused to associate with those of Spanish birth, 
and in many cases even to speak of them. A carnival was 
about to be celebrated in Santiago de Cuba, but it was 
abandoned, and the city went into mourning. 

To retaliate some Spaniards sent out invitations for a 
ball at the Filarmonia, the famous theatre in Santiago 
where, years afterward, Adelina Patti made her debut. 


This was resented as an insult by the native Cubans of 
the city. Some hot-blooded young men forced an en- 
trance into the hall where the ball was being held, and 
rushing forward destroyed a picture of Queen Isabella 
which hung at one end of the room. Immediately every- 
thing was in an uproar, men were shouting and fighting, 
and women were fainting. In the melee the disturbers 
escaped, and the matter was hushed up, for the Spanish 
authorities feared that the trouble might be made the oc- 
casion of another uprising, and so made no attempt to 
secure the names of the culprits. 

But this was just the prelude for worse disaster. A 
wealthy Cuban woman, with more money than judgment, 
decided to act as mediator and bring the enraged parties 
together. She took a strange means for accomplishing 
her object, issuing invitations for a party to both promi- 
nent Spaniards and Cubans of the best families. When 
the ball took place it is difficult to say who were the more 
dismayed and astonished, the Cubans when they saw who 
had been invited to meet them, or the haughty Spanish 
grandees, who hated the Cubans. An even wilder scene 
than that at the Filarmonia took place. Women were 
thrown to the floor, their clothing torn, and their bodies 
trampled on. The chandeliers were torn from the ceil- 
ing, many windows were broken, men fought in hand to 
hand combat, and when it was all over the injured had 
been removed, the hall which had been intended for a 
scene of pleasure was wrecked and rent beyond descrip- 
tion. Six people were killed on this occasion, including 
one Spanish woman of high rank, and over a hundred 
were more or less seriously injured. Arrests were 
promptly made, but it was the Cubans who suffered, for 
no Spaniards were apprehended. Several boys from the 
best Creole families were thrust without trial into the 


dungeons of Mono Castle, from whence they were trans- 
ported to the Spanish penal institution at Ceuta, and 
never again heard of. Those who were quick enough 
made their escape to the United States, and the woman 
who was so foolish as to give the party hastily left the 
island, without heralding her going. 

The Cubans were thoroughly aroused against Spain, 
and more and more there began to grow within them the 
desire not for annexation to the United States but for 
complete independence, and a government of their own 
making. At last the people were finding themselves, and 
higher aspirations and new longings were stirring in their 

The Captain General, fearing new uprisings, began 
to get the island in better shape for defense from aggres- 
sion from within. He strengthened the fortifications, 
and established a more central control over the army and 
navy, so that from headquarters all army posts and the 
movement of all vessels might be more easily governed. 
To further this end he built new roads, and improved old 
ones, and he took into his own hands as Captain-General 
a closer control and supervision of matters military. 

Perhaps nothing could be more indicative of the Cuban 
feeling and of the conditions on the Island at this time 
than are contained in the following letter written by a 
prominent Cuban a man of the highest intelligence and 
from one of the best known families to a friend : 

"The cause of the liberty of nations has always per- 
ished in its cradle because its defenders have never sought 
to deviate from legal paths, because they have followed 
the principles sanctioned by the laws of nations, while 
despots, always the first to exact obedience to them when 
it suited their convenience, have been the first to infringe 
them when they came into collision with their interests. 


"Their alliances to suppress liberty are called holy and 
the crimes they commit by invading foreign territories 
and summoning foreign troops to their aid to oppress 
their own vessels, are sacred duties, compliances with se- 
cret compacts; and, if the congresses, parliaments and 
Cortes of other nations, raise the cry to Heaven, they an- 
swer, the government has protested acts have been per- 
formed without their sanction there is no remedy they 
are acts accomplished. 

"An act accomplished will shortly be the abolition of 
slavery in Cuba, and the tardy intervention of the United 
States will only have taken place when its brilliant con- 
stellation lights up the vast sepulchre which will cover 
the bodies of her sons, sacrificed to the black race as a 
regard for their sympathies with American institutions, 
and the vast carnage it will cost to punish the African 
victors. What can be done today, without great sacri- 
fice, to help the Cubans, tomorrow cannot be achieved 
without the effusion of rivers of blood, and when the few 
surviving Cubans will curse an intervention which, deaf 
to their cries, will only be produced by the cold calcula- 
tions of egotism. Then the struggle will not be with 
the Spaniards alone. The latter will now accede to all 
the claims of the cabinet at Washington, by the advice of 
the ambassadors of France and England, to advance, 
meanwhile, with surer step to the end to give time for 
the solution of the Eastern question, and for France and 
England to send their squadrons into these waters. Well 
may they deny the existence of secret treaties ; this is very 
easy for such beings, as it will be when the case of the 
present treaty comes up, asserting that the treaty was pos- 
terior to their negative, or refusing explanations as incon- 
sistent with their dignity. But we witness the realization 
of our fears, we see the Spanish government imperturb- 


ably setting on foot plans which were thought to be the 
delirium of excited imaginations doing at once what 
promised to be gradual work; and hear it declared, by 
distinguished persons who possessed the confidence of 
General Pezuela, that the existence of the treaty is certain, 
and that the United States will be told that they should 
have accepted the offer made to become a party to it, 
in which case the other two powers could not have adopted 
the abolition scheme. But supposing this treaty to have 
no existence, the fact of the abolition of slavery is no less 
certain. It is only necessary to read the proclamation of 
the Captain-General, if the last acts of the Government 
be not sufficiently convincing. The result to the Island 
of Cuba and the United States is the same, either way. 
If the latter do not hasten to avert the blow, they will soon 
find it impossible to remedy the evil. In the Island there 
is not a reflecting man foreigner or native, Creole or 
European who does not tremble for the future that 
awaits us, at a period certainly not far remote." 

Thus did the Cubans look forward with hope to, and 
at the same time fear, the future. And meanwhile the 
tragedy of Lopez was having a wide-spread effect on the 
feeling of the people, and on political conditions in other 

In the United States a profound impression was pro- 
duced of a triple character. There was, in the first place, 
the international point of view. It was realized that the 
United States was being brought uncomfortably near the 
possibility of a serious controversy, if not of actual war 
with Spain. The neutrality laws had been evaded, and 
there was every prospect that such evasions would there- 
after be repeated. The whole question of American re- 
lations with Cuba was acutely reopened, and both those 
who favored and those who opposed the acquisition of 


that island by the United States were made to realize 
that a momentous decision might be called for at any 

There was, in the second place, the point of view of 
the pro-slavery states of the South, and their leaders, who 
were generally in control of the national government at 
Washington. The South strongly favored Cuban an- 
nexation, either voluntary or forcible. The island was 
wanted as Texas and other Mexican territories had been 
wanted, to provide for the extension of slave territory and 
for the addition of new slave states to the union to counter- 
balance the new free states which were about to seek ad- 
mission at the north. There was also a passionate desire 
to avoid the calamity of having Cuba made, as the other 
Spanish-American countries had been made, free soil, 
thus encircling the slave states with an unbroken ring of 
anti-slavery territory. Moreover, at this time the spirit 
of conquest and of expansion was very much abroad in 
the land. The lust for territory which had prevailed in 
the Mexican War was by no means satisfied. Men still 
regarded it as the manifest destiny of the United States 
to "lick all creation." In the geography of the popular 
mind, the United States was, or was destined to be, 
"bounded on the north by the aurora borealis, on the south 
by the precession of the equinoxes, on the east by primeval 
chaos, and on the west by the day of judgment." Under 
such circumstances, the attitude of the people of the 
United States south of Mason and Dixon's line was un- 

There was also the point of view of the increasingly 
anti-slavery north. During the Mexican war a strong 
aversion to territorial expansion by conquest for the sake 
of slave soil had been manifested, and this feeling was 
steadily increasing in extent and in influence. It mani- 


fested itself by opposition to Cuban annexation. At the 
same time, the commercial instinct was strong in the great 
cities of the north, and there was an earnest desire to do 
nothing which might interfere with the profitable trade 
which already existed between this country and Cuba, and 
which it was hoped greatly to expand. 

The interest of Great Britain in Cuban affairs was 
scarcely less than that of Spain or the United States. 
That country had once, for a time, possessed Cuba, and 
had never forgotten that fact nor ceased to entertain the 
desire to renew that possession as a permanent state of 
affairs. That country also had very important colonial 
holdings in the West Indies, and on the adjacent main- 
land; being, indeed, an American power second only to 
the United States itself. It owned the Bahamas, Jamaica 
and other islands, and colonies on the South and Central 
American coast, which latter it was at that very time seek- 
ing greatly to extend. It was keenly desirous of enlarg- 
ing its possessions and forming a great colonial empire 
in tropical America, and it realized that nothing could 
conduce to that end more than the acquisition of Cuba. 
In the prosecution of this policy, a certain "jingo" fac- 
tion actually went so far as to pretend that upon the ac- 
quisition of Cuba depended Great Britain's retention of 
Canada, if not, indeed, of her entire American holdings. 
It was represented that if Great Britain did not intervene 
to prevent it, the slave-holding South was certain to annex 
Cuba, and that this would provoke the abolitionist North 
into seizing Canada, in order to provide in that direction 
free soil to counter-balance the slave soil of Cuba. Thus, 
with Canada gone, and Cuba in the hands of the United 
States, the remainder of the British holdings in the west- 
ern hemisphere would be in deadly jeopardy. Such 
visions seem at this time fantastic, and it may be that they 


were then thus regarded by serious statesmen; yet they 
were cherished and were not without their influence. 

Nor was France less deeply and directly interested in 
Cuba. She, too, had colonies in the West Indies and on 
the South American coast. She had never forgotten her 
former vast empire in North America, nor ceased to re- 
gret its loss. She was soon to enter upon a campaign of 
conquest in Mexico. She had at various times, both dur- 
ing and since the Napoleonic era, entertained designs 
upon peninsular Spain itself, and she had repeatedly 
made direct overtures for a protectorate over Cuba. 

These circumstances caused international relations to 
be ominously strained in more than one direction, and 
as soon as news reached the United States of the execu- 
tion of those companions of Lopez who were members 
of prominent families in the southern states, there arose 
a widespread and furious storm of wrath. The center of 
this was, naturally, at New Orleans, where the majority 
of Lopez's followers had been recruited and where their 
families resided, and in that city an infuriated mob 
stormdd and destroyed the Spanish consulate, publicly de- 
faced a portrait of the Spanish queen, and, in some re- 
spects worst of all, looted a number of shops owned by 
Spanish merchants. This was most unfortunate from 
more than one point of view. It was not only indefensi- 
ble and inexcusable in itself, but it put the United States 
so much in the wrong as to deter it from taking any ac- 
tion, or indeed making any protest to Spain on account of 
the putting to death of the American prisoners. 

The American Secretary of State, Daniel Webster, 
made, however, the best of an unfortunate situation. He 
took a straightforward course by immediately apologiz- 
ing to the Spanish government for the New Orleans out- 
rages, and recommended to Congress the voting of an 


adequate indemnity for the damage which had been done. 
Having done this, he was enabled to secure the release 
of some American members of Lopez's expedition who 
had not yet suffered the death penalty. 

Despite this settlement, the Spanish government con- 
tinued to cherish much resentment against the United 
States, partly for the participation of so many of that 
country's citizens in the expeditions of Lopez, and partly 
because of the outrages in New Orleans, and its Cuban 
administration thereafter exhibited an increasing degree 
of animosity against Americans. ' Numerous harsh im- 
positions were put upon American citizens, for which no 
redress could be had ; and this caused resentment through- 
out the United States, in the commercial North as well 
as in the slaveholding and expansionist South, and rela- 
tions between the two countries steadily drifted from bad 
to worse. 

Candor compels the frank statement that there was 
much fault on both sides. Spain was tremendously at 
fault because of her misgovernment of Cuba, and indeed 
her whole policy in relation to that island, which was 
quite unworthy of a civilized power in an enlightened age. 
A generation before Spain had practically sacrificed her 
right to continued possession of Florida by her malad- 
ministration of that territory, which had made it an in- 
tolerable nuisance to the neighboring United States. She 
was now making of Cuba a scarcely less international 
nuisance and scandal. 

On the other hand, the United States, or some of its 
people, undoubtedly gave Spain cause for grievance. 
The intentions and the conduct of the United States gov- 
ernment were beyond reproach. At the same time, they 
were entirely insufficient for the prevention of serious 
wrongs to Spain. Webster himself confessed that the 


United States government had no power to protect Span- 
ish subjects from such outrages as those which had just 
been committed in New Orleans. There was no doubt 
that the intentions and conduct of a large portion of the 
American people were not only hostile to Spain, but were 
quite lawless in the manifestation of that feeling. 
Among the offenders, moreover, were some men who stood 
high in official life and who exerted much political influ- 
ence. Nor could these things be so well understood in 
Spain as in the United States. Spain could scarcely be 
expected to distinguish between the case of a man in his 
private capacity as a citizen and in his public capacity 
as a member of Congress or other official of the govern- 
ment. When she saw public officials participating in 
the organization and operations of the "Order of the 
Lone Star," the confessed purpose of which was to take 
Cuba from Spain by force, and without compensation, 
she very naturally assumed that such things were being 
done with the permission and sanction of the United 
States government, if not at its direct instigation. 

At this point, moreover, a serious complication was in- 
jected into the problem of Spanish-American relations by 
the attempted intervention of Great Britain and France. 
Both these powers sought to persuade Spain that they were 
better friends to her, especially in relation to Cuba, than 
the United States. They impressed upon her the idea 
that the United States intended to take Cuba away from 
her, while they were willing to respect her title to it, and 
to protect her in possession of it. 

These suggestions were followed by the menace of overt 
acts which, if committed, would have had very serious 
results. In 1851, the British and French governments 
let it be known that instructions had been given to their 
naval commanders to increase their forces in the waters 


adjacent to Cuba, and to exercise guardianship over the 
shores of that island to prevent the landing of any more 
filibustering expeditions from the United States or else- 
where, such as those of Lopez. It does not appear that 
this was done at the request of Spain. It was probably 
an entirely gratuitous performance intended partly to 
ingratiate the Spanish government, and partly to prevent 
the possibility of the seizure by the United States of Cuba. 
But it was certainly a most unwarrantable meddling in 
affairs which concerned only the United States and Spain. 
No possible justification for it could be found in interna- 
tional law. In the absence of a state of war, it was in- 
tolerable that vessels under the United States flag should 
be subjected to search upon the high seas, while, when 
they reached Cuban territorial waters, no other power 
than Spain had any right to interfere with them. 

Daniel Webster was at that time ill and unable to per- 
form the duties of his office, but J. J. Crittenden, who was 
acting as Secretary of State, made a forcible protest 
against any such action by Great Britain and France, and 
gave warning in the plainest terms that it would not be 
tolerated by the United States, and that any interference 
with American shipping between the United States and 
Cuba would be resented in the most vigorous manner. 
The result was that the British and French navies re- 
frained from the contemplated meddling. 

Following this, however, Spain made a direct appeal 
to the British government for protection against American 
aggression. The request was not so much for immediate 
military intervention as for securing treaty guarantees. 
The British government was in a receptive mood, and, in 
consequence, in April, 1852, it proposed to the United 
States that that country should join it and France in 
a tripartite convention, guaranteeing to Spain continued 


and unmolested possession of Cuba, and explicitly re- 
nouncing any designs of their own for the acquisition of 
that island. It may be recalled that a similar proposal 
had been made by Great Britain and France in 1825, and 
that its acceptance had been favored by no less an Amer- 
ican statesman than Thomas Jefferson, although, under 
the wiser counsels of John Quincy Adams, it had been 

At this renewal of the proposal, in 1852, rejection 
was prompt and emphatic. Edward Everett was then 
the Secretary of State, under the Presidency of Millard 
Fillmore, and he refused positively to enter into any such 
compact. His ground was that American interests in 
Cuba and American relations toward that island were 
radically different, in kind as well as in degree, from 
those of any other power. That was of course a perfectly 
logical and sincere application of the principles of the 
Monroe Doctrine, and of the traditional policy of the 
United States in refusing to permit European intervention 
in the affairs of the United States or in affairs exclusively 
concerning the United States and a single European 

It may be assumed that Everett had in mind at the 
time, also, the exceedingly unsatisfactory results of an 
attempt to establish just such a tripartite protectorate 
guarantee over the Hawaiian Islands. 

There was still another reason for the refusal of the 
United States to enter into such a compact. That coun- 
try had already and repeatedly guaranteed the Spanish 
possession of Cuba as against the aggressions of any 
other power, but it had not guaranteed and would not 
guarantee her possession of Cuba against the self-asser- 
tion of the Cuban people. It recognized the right of 
revolution. It knew that the Cubans were dissatisfied, 


and that with good reason, with Spanish rule, and that 
sooner or later they would successfully revolt and estab- 
lish their independence, and it had no thought of making 
itself the accomplice of Spain in repressing their aspira- 
tions for liberty. 


THE United States government, both before and im- 
mediately after the expeditions of Lopez, exhibited an 
increasing desire to acquire possession of Cuba by pur- 
chase or otherwise. We have already referred to the his- 
toric expression of John Quincy Adams upon this sub- 
ject. It is also to be recalled that in 1823, in com- 
menting upon the prospective results of the Monroe Doc- 
trine, Thomas Jefferson looked upon Cuba as the most 
interesting addition that could be made to the United 
States. The control which, with Florida, this island 
would give the United States over the Gulf of Mexico, 
and all the countries bordering thereon, as well as all 
those whose waters flowed into the Gulf, would well 
be, he thought, the measure of American well-being. 
Such an end could be attained, he added, by no other 
means than that of war, and that was something to which 
he was reluctant to resort. He was, therefore, willing 
to accept the next best thing, to wit, the independence of 
Cuba, and especially its independence of England. 
James Madison, at the same time, and discussing the 
same general subject, expressed much curiosity to know 
what England's attitude toward Cuba would be, and 
what the rights of the United States toward that island 
would be, under the Monroe Doctrine. John C. Cal- 
houn was willing to pledge the United States not to take 
Cuba, although he had already expressed a desire for 
such acquisition, and Monroe himself would have 
adopted Calhoun's policy, had it not been for the reso- 
lute opposition of John Quincy Adams. That strenuous 



patriot was for reserving the plenary rights and powers 
of the United States, and for permitting Europe to have 
nothing whatever to do in the matter, and his counsel 
fortunately prevailed. 

A little later, after the promulgation of the Monroe 
Doctrine and in the course of Congressional discussion 
of the Panama Congress, it was emphatically stated in the 
Senate that, because of the great interest in the United 
States in Cuba, there ought to be no discussion with other 
powers concerning the destiny of that island, particularly 
with Colombia and Mexico, which were then contemplat- 
ing the invasion of Cuba in order to take her forcibly 
from Spain. The British government, in August, 1825, 
proposed to the United States government, through its 
minister in London, that the United States, Great Britain 
and France should unite in a treaty engagement that 
none of them would take Cuba for itself or permit of 
the taking of it by either of the others. This proposal 
was promptly rejected by the United States. One of the 
grounds for her rejection of it was that such action guar- 
anteeing Spain her possession of Cuba would encourage 
her to prolong indefinitely her struggle with her other 
American colonies. Another was that this country had 
already declared that it did not mean to seize Cuba for 
itself, and that it would not permit its seizure by any 
other power. The United States apparently did not fear 
that Great Britain would attempt to seize the island, since 
for her to do so would mean a rupture with the United 
States, which was at that time the last thing that the 
British government desired. There was much more 
cause to fear that France might attempt to take forcible 
possession of Cuba, and the suspicion that she might do 
so was strengthened by the fact that while, at first, she in- 
dicated a willingness to enter into the arrangement pro- 


posed by Great Britain, she suddenly changed her atti- 
tude, and refused to do so. As a result of this change 
of front on the part of France, the United States govern- 
ment, in September, 1825, instructed its minister at Paris 
to inform the French government that under no con- 
tingency, either with or without the consent of Spain, 
would the United States permit France to occupy Cuba. 

Scarcely less marked was the opposition of the United 
States to any scheme for the acquirement of Cuba by any 
of the American republics. It was notorious that both 
Colombia and Mexico had designs upon Cuba. These 
were not so much that either of these countries should ac- 
quire the island for itself, but that Cuba and Porto Rico 
should, nilly willy, be taken away from Spain and made 
independent, and that thus Spain should be deprived of 
her last foothold in the Western hemisphere. This pur- 
pose was cherished, not only as a matter of sentiment, but 
as one of prudence. Spain was still trying to reconquer 
her revolted American provinces, and her possession of 
Cuba, of course, afforded her an admirable base for such 
operations. But the United States government took the 
ground that any such intervention in Cuba would make 
it much more difficult to secure Spanish recognition of the 
independence of the Central and South American States. 
In addition, there was undoubtedly indeed it was very 
openly, emphatically and repeatedly expressed the un- 
willingness of the slaveholding southern states of the 
United States to see Cuba made free soil, as the other 
Spanish colonies had been. It was because of the for- 
mer consideration, however, that the American Secretary 
of State, Henry Clay, immediately after the rejection of 
the British proposal for a tripartite guarantee, addressed 
a note to the governments of Colombia and Mexico, urg- 
ing them to refrain from sending the expeditions which 


they were fitting out against the Spanish power in Cuba. 
To this request, the Colombian government promptly 
acceded, and so informed not only the United States, but 
also the government of Russia, which was, at that time, 
endeavoring to mediate between Spain and her late Amer- 
ican colonies. The Mexican government did not receive 
the request so favorably, though it did withhold the 
threatened expedition. 

With such antecedents set forth, we can more perfectly 
understand the attitude of the United States toward Cuba 
at the time of which we are now writing. In 1848 a 
change of policy occurred, and the United States entered 
upon a new attitude. At that time James K. Polk was 
President of the United States, and James Buchanan was 
his Secretary of State; both men of southern, proslavery 
and expansionist proclivities. The American minister 
to Spain was Romulus M. Saunders, of North Carolina, 
also a proslavery expansionist. He was instructed by 
Polk and Buchanan to sound the Spanish government as 
to the terms on which it would sell Cuba to the United 
States. The response to his overtures was immediate 
and left no room for doubt as to Spain's position. It 
was to the effect that Cuba was not for sale. Under no 
circumstances would the Spanish government so much as 
consider the sale of the island at any price whatever. 
No Spanish Minister of State would venture for a mo- 
ment to entertain such a proposal. Such was the feeling 
of the Spanish government and of the Spanish nation, 
that they would rather see Cuba sunk in the depths of the 
sea, if it were possible, than transferred to the sovereignty 
of any other power. Cuba was the "Ever-Faithful 
Isle." She was the last remnant, the priceless memento 
of Spain's once vast empire in America, and as such she 
would be forever retained and treasured. Although not 


openly expressed, there was undoubtedly the additional 
feeling that Spain had already suffered too much spolia- 
tion at the hands of the United States. The United 
States, under Jefferson, had practically compelled Spain 
to sacrifice her vast Louisiana territory by nominally sell- 
ing, but really giving it outright, to France. It had next 
taken West Florida from her without compensation. 
Following this, under the Monroe Doctrine, it had com- 
pelled her to sell it East Florida for a pitifully inadequate 
sum, not one dollar of which had ever found its way into 
the Spanish treasury. It had aided, abetted, and pro- 
tected the Central and South American provinces in their 
revolt. Certainly, after such a record, it would be un- 
thinkable to permit the United States to proceed with the 
acquisition of the last remaining portion of the Spanish 
American empire. The overtures for the United States 
purchase of Cuba were, therefore, for the time being, 
abruptly abandoned, but it was significant that they were 
promptly followed by the expeditions of Lopez and the 
widespread and intense manifestations of American inter- 
est therein. 

There next occurred one of the most noteworthy and it 
must be confessed least creditable episodes in the whole 
story of the relations between the United States, Cuba 
and Spain. Franklin Pierce became President of the 
United States, and the active and aggressive William L. 
Marcy was his Secretary of State. Because of the 
strained relations between Spain and the United States, 
growing out of the Lopez expeditions, there was a well 
defined expectation that Marcy would pursue a vigorous 
policy leading to the annexation of Cuba, even at the cost 
of war with Spain. Marcy was an expansionist, and 
would doubtless have been glad to have annexed Cuba, 
but he was something more than an expansionist. He 


was a statesman. He therefore considered the subject 
from its various aspects with a prudence and conservatism 
which were probably not at all pleasing to the impetuous 
proslavery propagandists of the south, but which were in 
the highest degree creditable to his good sense and to the 
honor of the United States. Unfortunately not even 
Marcy could remain entirely exempt from political and 
partizan considerations. He was practically compelled 
to acquiesce in the appointment as his minister to Spain 
of one of the more egregious misfits that ever disgraced 
American diplomacy. This man was Pierre Soule. He 
was of French origin, and had been a political conspirator 
and prisoner in that country. He had come to the United 
States as a refugee, but had continued there his political 
intrigues and revolutionary designs. Settling in New 
Orleans, he had been in active sympathy with the filibus- 
tering enterprises of Lopez and others against the Spanish 
rule in Cuba ; he was suspected of having incited the anti- 
Spanish mob in that city; and he was known to be an 
ardent advocate of the annexation of Cuba by any means 
which might prove effective. The choice of such a man 
as American minister to Spain was certainly extraordi- 
nary. It must be assumed that Marcy agreed to it only 
with great reluctance and under protest; while it is plausi- 
ble, and indeed permissible, to suspect that some ulterior 
influence dictated it for the deliberate purpose of pro- 
voking trouble with Spain. 

In these circumstances, Marcy did his best. He in- 
structed Soule to repress his anti-Spanish zeal, to do 
nothing which would irritate Spanish susceptibilities, and 
especially to be particularly cautious in making any sug- 
gestions or overtures concerning a change of relations in 
Cuba. He instructed him, however, to seek reparation 
for the gross injuries which Americans had undoubtedly 


suffered in Cuba, and to suggest to the Spanish govern- 
ment that it would greatly facilitate the friendly conduct 
of affairs for it to invest the Captain-General or other 
governor of Cuba with a degree of diplomatic authority 
and functions so that complaint could be addressed to 
him, and indeed all such matters could be negotiated with 
him directly, instead of their being referred to the gov- 
ernment at Madrid. He did not urge Soule to seek the 
purchase of Cuba, but he did authorize him to enter into 
negotiations to that end, if the Spanish government should 
manifest a favorable inclination. 

Despite these wise instructions and admonitions, Soule 
promptly entered upon a career of the wildest indiscretion. 
He went to Spain by way of France, where he was under 
political proscription, and this gave offence to the govern- 
ment of that country. On arriving at Madrid, he imme- 
diately quarreled with the French party there, and fought 
a duel with the French ambassador in which the latter was 
crippled for life. 

Then word came to him that the Spanish authorities 
at Havana had seized an American steamer, the Black 
Warrior. That steamer had, for a long time, been ply- 
ing regularly between the United States and Cuba in a 
perfectly legitimate way. There was not the slightest 
proof or suggestion that she had ever engaged in filibus- 
tering or in any illegitimate commerce. Indeed she was 
not accused of it. But she was seized and her cargo was 
condemned simply for alleged disregard of some insignifi- 
cant port regulation which, as a matter of fact, had not 
been enforced or observed by any vessel for many years. 
The master of the vessel resented and protested against 
the seizure and when the Spanish authorities arbitrarily 
persisted in it, he abandoned the vessel altogether, and 
reported the circumstances to the United States govern- 


ment. The President promptly laid the matter before 
Congress at Washington, stating that a demand for 
redress and indemnity was being made. Passions flamed 
high in Congress, and southern members made speeches 
demanding war and the conquest of Cuba. Marcy, how- 
ever, retained his sanity of judgment, and contented him- 
self with instructing Soule at Madrid to demand an in- 
demnity of $300,000 and to express the hope that the 
Spanish government would disavow and rebuke the act 
which it was confidently assumed had not been authorized 
and could not be approved. This gave Soule a fine op- 
portunity to show himself a capable diplomat and to do a 
good stroke of work, for Spain was manifestly wrong and 
a proper presentation of the case would doubtless have 
caused her to accede pretty promptly to Marcy's reason- 
able demands. 

Soule began well. He followed Marcy's instructions 
closely at the outset, and had a friendly and temperate 
interview with the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs; 
but when three days thereafter had passed without a com- 
plete settlement, he seemed altogether to lose his head. 
He sent to the minister a peremptory note, demanding pay- 
ment of the indemnity, and the immediate dismissal from 
the Spanish service of all persons in any way responsible 
for the seizure of the Black Warrior. If this was not done 
within forty-eight hours, he added, he would immediately 
demand his passports and sever diplomatic relations be- 
tween the two countries. With customary arrogance, he 
instructed the messenger by whom he transmitted the note 
to call the attention of the Spanish minister to the exact 
hour and minute at which the messenger should deliver 
the note into his hands, and to remind him that an answer 
would be expected, under penalty, within forty-eight 
hours after that precise moment of time. Worst of all, 


perhaps, this occurred during Holy Week, when it was 
not customary for the Spanish government to transact 
any business which could possibly be deferred. 

The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs was Calderon 
de la Barca, who had formerly been Spanish minister to 
the United States, and with whom Soule had personally 
very violently quarrelled at Washington. With charac- 
teristic Spanish courtesy, he very promptly, within twenty- 
four hours, replied to Soule that the matter would be most 
carefully considered at the earliest possible moment, but 
that it manifestly would not be practicable, and indeed 
would not be just, to dispose of so important a matter so 
hastily, and upon the hearing of only one side of it. He 
also added, quite properly, that the Spanish government 
was not accustomed to being addressed in so harsh and 
imperious a manner, and that he could not regard such a 
mode of procedure as calculated to facilitate the amicable 
settlement which both parties undoubtedly desired. 

Thus placed, through his own folly, at a hopeless dis- 
advantage, Soule abandoned the case. He sent to Marcy 
his own absurd and unauthorized ultimatum, together 
with Calderon's dignified and statesmanlike reply, pos- 
sibly in the vain hope that Marcy would back him up in 
the impossible attitude which he had assumed. Of 
course, Marcy did nothing of the sort. As a matter of 
fact, it was not necessary for Marcy to pay any attention 
whatever to Soule's report, since, before it reached Wash- 
ington, the Spanish authorities in Cuba had restored the 
Black Warrior to her owners, with the amplest possible 
amends for their improper seizure of her, and the whole 
incident was thus happily ended. 

The project of acquiring Cuba for the United States 
continued to be cherished by the American government. 
It must be supposed that the Secretary of State appre- 


ciated the immense value of Cuba, both in its resources 
and in its strategic position and so, for that reason, was 
desirous of acquiring the island. It must also be be- 
lieved that he was to a degree moved by a desire to get 
rid of what he plainly saw would be a perennial cause 
of annoyance and even of danger. Since the beginning 
of the nineteenth century, Cuba had been a cause of 
anxiety to the United States, and since the beginning of 
insurrections in that island, and especially insurrections 
looking to the United States for sympathy and aid, there 
was a constantly increasing danger of unpleasant and 
possibly hostile complications with Spain. There is no 
indication, however, that Marcy ever had any other 
thought than that of the peaceful acquisition of the island 
through friendly negotiations. It was most unfortunate 
that because of the political conditions which prevailed 
during that administration, he was compelled to act 
through unfit and indeed unworthy agents. 

At the beginning of 1854, Mr. Marcy directed the 
United States ministers to Spain, France and Great Brit- 
ain to confer among themselves as to the best means, if 
indeed any were practicable, to persuade Spain to sell 
Cuba to the United States, and at the same time to avoid 
or to overcome objections which France and Great Britain 
might make to such a transaction. That was a perfectly 
legitimate proposal, and indeed, under the circumstances, 
was desirable and should have been productive of excel- 
lent results. Its fatal defect lay in the personality of the 
men who were called upon to put it into execution. The 
minister to Spain was Soule, of whom we have already 
heard enough to indicate his very conspicuous unfitness 
for the task assigned to him. The minister to France was 
James M. Mason, a Virginian, and one of the most ag- 
gressive and extreme Southern advocates of the extension 


of slavery. The minister to Great Britain was James 
Buchanan, who was afterward President of the United 
States, a northern man with strong southern sympathies 
and in complete subservience to the slaveholding interests 
of the south. The result of a conference among these 
three was practically a foregone conclusion. 

They came together at Ostend in the summer of 1854, 
and a little later concluded their deliberations at Aix-la- 
Chapelle, and the result of their conference was embodied 
in that extraordinary document known to history as the 
Ostend Manifesto. 

That document, which was drawn up in October, 1854, 
and was signed by these three ministers and sent by them 
to Mr. Marcy, was written chiefly by Soule. It set forth 
the various reasons why, in the opinion of Soule and his 
colleagues, Cuba ought to belong to the United States. 
A variety of reasons was set forth, but chief among them 
was this, that such acquisition of Cuba was necessary for 
the security and perpetuity of the slave system in the 
United States. Then Soule went on to tell why Spain 
ought to be willing to sell the island, and why Britain 
and France ought to be willing for her to sell it to the 
United States. The price to be paid for Cuba was not 
stated. It ought not, however, Soule said, to exceed a 
certain maximum sum to be prescribed by the United 
States ; and there are reasons for believing that the price 
which Soule had in mind was $120,000,000. All this 
was bad enough. It was far removed from what Marcy 
had intended. But the worst was to come. With as- 
tounding effrontery and cynicism, the manifesto pro- 
ceeded to say that if Spain should be so swayed by the 
voice of her own interest and actuated by a false sense 
of honor as to refuse to sell Cuba, then, by every law, 
human and divine, the United States would be justified 


in taking Cuba forcibly from her, on the ground that such 
seizure was necessary for the protection of the domestic 
peace of the United States. This Manifesto was sent 
by the three ministers to Marcy, with a memorandum 
written by Soule, suggesting that that would be a good 
time to start a war with Spain for the seizure of Cuba, be- 
cause France and Great Britain were just then engaged in 
fighting Russia in the Crimea, and therefore would not be 
able to interfere with Spain's behalf. 

Marcy never for a moment, of course, thought of act- 
ing upon these abominable recommendations. The over- 
whelming sentiment of this nation would have been 
against it. Even in the South, the majority of thoughtful 
men held that Soule and his colleagues had gone too far, 
while throughout the North, the Manifesto was scathingly 
denounced as a proposal of international brigandage. 
Not only in Spain, but almost equally in France and 
Great Britain, American diplomacy and the honor of the 
American government were regarded as seriously com- 
promised. In these circumstances Marcy, to whom the 
Manifesto must have been revolting, very adroitly de- 
clined to recognize its real purport, but insisted upon in- 
terpreting it in an entirely different way from that which 
its authors had intended. The result was that the note 
was practically pigeonholed. 

Soule was so chagrined and enraged at this disposition 
of a favorite child of his mind that he resigned his office 
as Minister to Spain, to the unmistakable relief both of 
Marcy and of the Spanish government. Buchanan, an- 
other of the signers, became President of the United States 
a couple of years later, and in his second annual message, 
in December, 1858, sought to revive the Manifesto, re- 
ferring to the possibility of its sometime being necessary 
for the United States to seize Cuba under the law of 


self-preservation. He also requested Congress to appro- 
priate $30,000,000 for the purchase of the island, and a 
bill to that effect was introduced, but it was never pressed 
to final passage. Again in 1859 he referred to the sub- 
ject, being still apparently obsessed with the idea that the 
conquest of Cuba was necessary for the preservation of 
the United States, but on this occasion his reference to the 
subject was entirely ignored by Congress. Then came the 
Civil War in the United States, which, for a number of 
years, debarred that country from paying any attention to 
the affairs of its southern neighbor. 


THE years following the close of the Civil War in the 
United States were marked with momentous occurrences 
in various other countries, particularly in Cuba, and the 
two nations with which she had long been intimately con- 
nected, Mexico and Spain. 

The beginning of the year 1866 in Peninsular Spain 
saw General Prim heading a revolutionary body of troops 
at Aranjuez and at Ocana. These operations caused 
great excitement, and feeling ran high throughout the 
kingdom, for they were generally regarded as indicative 
and provocative of a radical change of government. 
Martial law was, however, promptly proclaimed at Mad- 
rid, and thus countless sympathizers with the revolution 
were restrained from taking an active part in it. The 
army of the government, under General Zabala, hastened 
to the scene of the insurrection, and pursued the revolu- 
tionary troops with such vigor that the latter, including 
General Prim himself, were compelled to retreat across 
the Portuguese frontier near Barracas, since they were, in 
fact, only about six hundred strong and were not pre- 
pared to make a resolute stand. In the same month, 
January, 1866, other revolutionary bodies were dispersed 
in Catalonia and Valencia. 

So confident was the royal government of its security, 
and of the completeness with which the incipient revolu- 
tion had been quelled, that on March 17 it repealed the 
decree of martial law at the capital. It was, however, 
cherishing a fool's paradise. The spirit of revolution 
was at work, and was bound soon to reassert itself. Its 



next manifestation occurred in June, when two regiments 
of soldiers in Madrid itself mutinied and repudiated their 
officers, who had refused to join them in their action. 
These troops were well armed, having twenty-six cannon, 
and were soon reinforced by large numbers of volunteers 
from the populace, so that it was only by a supreme 
effort that the government troops were able to defeat and 
disperse them. 

At the same time, a corresponding movement took place 
in the garrison at Gerona, where a considerable body of 
troops revolted and, when attacked by government forces, 
conducted a successful retreat across the French frontier. 
Having crossed the boundary, they laid down their arms, 
but the larger proportion of them soon found their way 
back into Spain to join the impending revolution. Other 
outbreaks occurred at other points, all of which were sup- 
pressed with difficulty, but with great severity, many of 
the leaders being summarily shot as a deterrent example. 
But this action instead of being deterrent was provocative. 
The next revolutionary manifestation was the formation 
of a junta at Madrid, which issued a proclamation setting 
forth the complaints of the insurgents against the govern- 
ment, in part as follows : 

"Savage courts have led hundreds of victims to sacri- 
fice, and a woman has contemplated passively and even 
with complacency, the scaffold which has been erected. 

"The Cortes have abjectly sold to the government the 
safety of the individual, the civil rights and the wellbeing 
of the commonwealth. The government has overthrown 
the press and rostrum, and has entrusted the administra- 
tion of the provinces to rapacious mandarins and sangui- 
nary generals ; military tribunals have despoiled the rich 
and transported the poor to Fernando Po and to the 


"The laws of the Cortes have been replaced by de- 
crees squandering the resources of the country by means of 
obscure and ruinous laws, trampling under foot right and 
virtue, violating homes, property and family; and during 
all this time, Isabella II, at Zuranz, and Madrid, medi- 
tating a plot against Italy, our sister, for the benefit of the 
Roman curia, participating meanwhile in the depredations 
of violence of the pachas in Cuba, who tolerating the 
fraudulent introduction of slaves, are outraging public 
sentiment both in the Old and in the New World, and 
causing an estrangement between Spain and the great and 
glorious Republic of the United States." 

Thereafter, a reasonable degree of quiet prevailed 
throughout the Kingdom, which was merely a lull before 
the renewal of the storm. On New Year's day of 1867, 
the Junta at Madrid issued another proclamation, an- 
nouncing to the people of Spain that another revolutionary 
movement was about to begin, and inviting them to join 
it, and share its success. To this there was not ap- 
parently a sufficient response to seem to warrant action, 
and it was not until the following August that anything 
more was heard of the revolution. The revolutionists, 
however, were merely outwardly quiet. Propaganda and 
organization were being systematically carried on, and 
the way was being paved for a really effective revolt, 
which would have widespread and far-reaching results in 
purging Spain of a tyrannous rule and substituting in 
its place republican justice. When the time seemed pro- 
pitious, in August, General Prim issued a third proclama- 
tion, calling the people to arms, the chief result of which 
was an increased degree of vigilance and severity on the 
part of the government. Many of the revolutionary 
leaders were apprehended and expelled from Spain on 
suspicion of sympathy and complicity with the revolution. 


Among this number were Generals Serrano, Cordova, 
Duke, Bedoya, and Zebula, and persons of no less high 
standing than the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier. 

It is curious that all through history, movements like 
that which had gained such force and impetus in Spain 
have been met with the high hand of oppression. Instead 
of endeavoring to get at the root of the evil, to realize that 
since there was so persistent a dissatisfaction there must 
be real causes for grievance the removal of which would 
work toward a harmonious solution, it has seemed to be 
impossible for those born in the purple to understand the 
problems of the common people, and so when the latter 
have risen in revolt, cruelty and injustice, if not actual 
outrages, have marked the attempts to extinguish the 
trouble. The result has ever been the same. The story 
of the attempts to suppress the revolt in Spain differs not 
at all from the same story written on the pages of the 
history of other nations. The increased oppression on 
the part of the government only served to fan the smoul- 
dering fire into flame. The popular wrath and indigna- 
tion against the queen and her underlings bade fair to 
burst into a huge conflagration. 

In consequence, when the next overt act of insurrection 
occurred, at Cadiz, on September 17, there was a very 
general response throughout the Kingdom. General 
Prim was again at the head of the movement, supported 
by General Serrano and the other officers, to whom the 
sentence of banishment had not proved effective, since 
they had found their way back into Spain. Revolution- 
ary Juntas were formed in almost all of the provinces, and 
in a number of the most important cities, and in the course 
of a 'few days the insurgents were in control of a consider- 
able part of the Kingdom. 


The City of Santander was seized for the revolution 
on September 2 1 , but they were obliged to relinquish it to 
superior forces on September 24. However, the revolu- 
tionists were far from discouraged by this momentary re- 
verse, and four days later they rallied for their first im- 
portant victory, which was followed by a general revolt 
of the troops in and about Madrid, and General Concha, 
the commander of the royal forces, was compelled to re- 
sign. The revolution was now in full swing and gaining 
impetus and strength every hour. General Serrano at 
the head of a revolutionary army entered Madrid in tri- 
umph, followed four days later by General Prim. Their 
reception exceeded their wildest expectations. The city 
was on fire with revolt. The people greeted them with 
the warmest fervor, with shouts of welcome and rejoicing. 
They were hailed as the saviors of the nation, as the em- 
bodiment of Spain's hope for the future, and hourly their 
forces were increased by the addition of volunteers from 
all walks of life. 

It is evident that Queen Isabella had not found Madrid 
a comfortable abiding place. There is no doubt that she 
entertained fears for her personal safety long before it 
was actually in jeopardy. Some time previous to these 
happenings she had, on some pretext, removed the court 
from Madrid to San Sebastian, in the Pyrenees, near the 
French frontier, and when news of the capture of the 
Spanish capital reached her, she lost no time in making 
her escape across the frontier into France, where she was 
met and welcomed by Emperor Napoleon III, at Hendye. 
Queen Isabella had good reason to fear the vengeance of 
the Spanish mob, for she had long been unpopular, an 
object of widespread hatred. She therefore had no inten- 
tion of returning to Spain while matters were in such a 


turbulent condition, and shortly after her arrival in 
France, she proceeded to Paris, where she decided to make 
her home. 

The Juntas which had been established throughout the 
Kingdom of Spain were amalgamated by the formation of 
a National Junta, on October 8, at Madrid, and a minis- 
try was organized with General Serrano as Prime Minis- 
ter, General Prim as Minister of War, Admiral Topete as 
Minister of Marine, Sefior Figueroa as Minister of Fi- 
nance, Senor Lorensano as Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
Senor Ortiz as Minister of Justice, Senor Sagasta as 
Minister of the Interior, Senor Ayala as Minister for the 
Colonies and Senor Zorilla as Minister of Public Works. 

The next day, the United States Minister at Madrid, 
Mr. Hill, notified General Serrano that his government 
has given official recognition to the new order of affairs 
in Spain, being the first in the world to take this action. 
Such was the state of affairs in Spain at the beginning of 
the great struggle in Cuba known as the Ten Years' War. 

Conditions in Mexico likewise deserve passing atten- 
tion. For a number of years that country had been in a 
greatly troubled state. Years of successive revolutions 
had been followed by the military intervention of France, 
and the creation, under the protection of the French army, 
of a pinchbeck "empire," with the Archduke Maximilian 
of Austria as Emperor. The Mexican people, under the 
leadership of one of their greatest statesmen, Benito 
Juarez, never gave their allegiance to this usurping gov- 
ernment, but maintained a more or less open resistance to 
it, and it was sustained for a few years only by the pres- 
ence of a considerable French army. 

The United States of America, at this time, was engaged 
in its great Civil War, and was therefore unable to do 
more than to register a formal protest against French ag- 


gressions, which were recognized as a great violation of 
the Monroe Doctrine. But when, in the spring of 1865, 
the Civil War ended, the triumphant federal armies were 
moved toward the Mexican frontier, and the United States 
Government sent to the French Government what was 
practically an ultimatum, requiring it to withdraw its 
forces from Mexico. Napoleon III demurred, tempor- 
ized, and at length offered to withdraw if the United 
States would recognize Maximilian as the lawful emperor 
of Mexico. This the United States, with great prompt- 
ness, refused to do, and the French army was thereupon 
unconditionally withdrawn, and the capture and military 
execution of Maximilian soon followed, the final tragedy 
occurring on June 19, 1867. This left the United States 
with its prestige immeasurably enhanced and free to pay 
such attention as might be necessary to the affairs of 
Cuba, the only part of the western hemisphere in which 
European despotism was still maintained. 

The policy of the United States Government, and the 
sentiment of the people of that country toward Cuba, had 
been materially modified by the Civil War and its re- 
sults. There was, of course, no longer any thought of ac- 
quiring Cuba for the sake of expanding and fortifying the 
slave power, but on the contrary, American influence was 
now exerted, so far as it could properly be, toward pre- 
vailing upon the Spanish Government to abolish slavery 
in Cuba. The Cuban revolutionists were almost with- 
out exception in favor of such emancipation of the 
negroes, and that fact caused them to be regarded with 
increased favor in the United States, both officially and 
popularly. American influence was also exerted toward 
the persuasion of Spain to give Cuba a more liberal and 
beneficent government and to improve the commercial re- 
lations between that island and the United States, for the 


benefit of both parties. There was some expectation in 
both Cuba and the United States a very plausible belief 
that the revolutionary movement in Spain, liberal and 
democratic in character, and aiming at the establishment 
of a republic in place of the Bourbon monarchy, would be 
accompanied by the grant of liberal institutions and demo- 
cratic freedom to Cuba ; but such was not the case. 

During the Civil War, because of the suspension of the 
sugar industry in the southern part of the United States, 
there had been a vast and immensely profitable develop- 
ment of the sugar industry in Cuba, and this seemed to be 
dependent for its success upon the continuance of slave 
labor. These conditions strengthened the Spanish party 
in Cuba, which was equally devoted to the maintenance 
of slavery and to Spanish domination in the Island. 

The Spanish party in Cuba, at this time, as we have 
seen, was known as the "Peninsulars," and it comprised 
a great majority of the office holders and wealthy planters 
and slave-holders. It was well organized throughout the 
Island for the assertion of political influence, and for the 
suppression of insurgent movements. Its central author- 
ity was in a wealthy club at Havana, called the "Casino 
Espagnol," and similar clubs on a more modest scale, 
existed in other cities and important towns throughout 
Cuba, and from these, and under their control, there arose 
a body known as the "Volunteers." This was ostensibly 
a military organization to whose battalions all white men 
in the Island were eligible, but as a matter of fact, mem- 
bership in the Volunteers was substantially confined to 
conservatives, loyalists and Spanish sympathizers. The 
Volunteers, except in a few special cases, did not go into 
the field, but left the actual fighting with insurgents to be 
done by regular Spanish troops. They gave their own 
attention chiefly to the overawing of the inhabitants of the 


cities and towns, and to restraining them from joining the 
revolutions. They also acted as spies, discovering and 
reporting to the Spanish Government the doings of Cuban 
patriots. The leaders of the organization formed a 
"Council of Colonels," meeting at the Casino Espagnol, 
and forming a sort of imperium in imperio. 

During the progress of the Ten Years' War, however, 
the Volunteers were organized and placed under the com- 
mand of General Lersuno, and thereafter exerted a much 
more militant power than ever before. They were not 
under the direct orders of the Captain-General, but en- 
joyed an independent authority, and yet they were pres- 
ently entrusted with the garrisoning of forts and cities, 
so that the regular Spanish troops could go into the field. 
They exercised far more military, naval and civil au- 
thority than the Captain-General and other royal officials. 
They actually compelled the retirement of General Dulce 
from the Captain-Generalship because they regarded him 
as too kindly disposed toward the Cubans. They simi- 
larly drove Caballero de Rodas from office, and they gave 
Valmaseda and Ceballos, who followed, to understand 
that the success of their administration depended upon 
their compliance with the demands and policies of the 

It was due to their opposition that the so-called Moret 
law, which provided for the gradual abolition of slavery 
in Cuba, remained a dead letter, and was not even pub- 
lished in the Island for several years after the outside 
world had supposed it to be in force. The Volunteers 
were also responsible for the numerous cases of violence 
against the patriot party, the most flagrant of which was 
the execution of eight Cuban students of the University of 

There is no reason to suppose that there was any com- 


plicity or cooperation between the revolution in Spain and 
the outbreak of the Ten Years' War in Cuba. Neverthe- 
less, the former practically gave the signal, for the result 
of the Spanish revolution was indeed regarded by Cuban 
patriots with much satisfaction and enthusiasm. Cries 
of "Hurrah for Prim!" "Hurrah for Serrano!" and 
"Hurrah for the Spanish Revolution ! " were mingled with 
cries of "Viva Cuba Libre! " and it did not take long for 
the disappointed realization to dawn upon Cuba that 
liberalism in Spain did not necessarily imply the granting 
of freedom to Cuba, but that on the contrary the "Penin- 
sular" revolutionists were scarcely less intent that the 
Bourbons had been upon retaining Cuba as an appanage, 
and especially as a source of revenue for Spain. 


CUBAN independence was proclaimed on October 10, 
1868, at the Yara plantation. That was the natal date 
and that was the natal place of the Republic of Cuba. 
The event was made known to the world in a Declaration 
of Independence, which was issued at Manzanillo, and 
which was as follows: 

"In arming ourselves against the tyrannical Govern- 
ment of Spain we must, according to precedent in all civil- 
ized countries, proclaim before the world the cause that 
impels us to take this step, which though liable to entail 
considerable disturbances upon the present, will insure 
the happiness of the future. 

"It is well known that Spain governs the Island of 
Cuba with an iron and blood-stained hand. The former 
holds the latter deprived of political, civil, and religious 
liberty. Hence, the unfortunate Cubans being illegally 
prosecuted and thrown into exile or executed by military 
commissions in times of peace. Hence, their being kept 
from public meetings, and forbidden to- speak or write on 
affairs of state; hence, their remonstrances against the 
evils that afflict them being looked upon as the proceed- 
ings of rebels, from the fact that they are bound to keep 
silence and obey. Hence, the never-ending plague of 
hungry officials from Spain to devour the product of their 
industry and labor. Hence, their exclusion from public 
stations and want of opportunity to skill themselves in the 
art of government. Hence, the restrictions to which pub- 
lic instructions with them is subjected, in order to keep 



them so ignorant as not to be able to know and enforce 
their rights in any shape or form whatever. Hence, the 
navy and standing army, which are kept upon their coun- 
try at an enormous expenditure from their own wealth to 
make them bend their knees and submit their necks to the 
iron yoke that disgraces them. Hence, the grinding tax- 
ation under which they labor, and which would make 
them all perish in misery but for the marvelous fertility 
of the soil. 

"On the other hand, Cuba cannot prosper as she ought 
to, because white immigration that suits her best is art- 
fully kept from her shores by the Spanish Government, 
and as Spain has many a time promised us Cubans to 
respect our rights without having hitherto fulfilled her 
promise, as she continues to tax us heavily and by so 
doing is likely to destroy our wealth ; as we are in danger 
of losing our property, our lives, and our honor under 
further Spanish domination; as we have reached a depth 
of degradation utterly revolting to manhood; as great 
nations have sprung from revolt against a similar dis- 
grace, after exhausted pleadings for relief, as we despair 
of justice from Spain through reasoning and cannot 
longer live deprived of the rights which other people en- 
joy, we are constrained to appeal to arms and to assert 
our rights in the battle-field, cherishing the hope that our 
grievances will be a sufficient excuse for this last resort to 
redress them and to secure our future welfare. 

"To the God of our conscience, and to all civilized na- 
tions, we submit the sincerity of our purpose. Vengeance 
does not mislead us, not is ambition our guide. We only 
want to be free and to see all men with us equally free, 
as the Creator intended all mankind to be. Our earnest 
belief is that all men are brethren. Hence our love of 
toleration, order and justice in every respect. We desire 


the gradual abolition of slavery, with indemnification ; we 
admire universal suffrage, as it insures the sovereignty of 
the people ; we demand a religious regard for the inalien- 
able rights of men as the basis of freedom and nation 

Following the Declaration of Independence, the provi- 
sional government of the Republic of Cuba was organized 
at Bayamo. The most prominent figure in the organiza- 
tion of the Cuban revolutionists and the first really con- 
structive leader of the Cuban insurrection was Carlos 
Manuel Cespedes, a native of Bayamo. At this time he 
was in the prime of life, being forty nine years of age, a 
man of brilliant intellect and of fine culture, for he had 
been educated at the University of Havana, and had, in 
1842, received his degree and license in law from the 
Uinversity of Barcelona, in Spain. 

Cespedes's openly expressed zeal for the emancipation 
of the oppressed Cubans, and the earnest efforts which he 
had long exerted in their behalf, had won for him such 
widespread recognition as a patriot that he was, without a 
dissenting voice, chosen for the head of the provisional 
government. By nature and training he was admirably 
suited for the position, for from boyhood he had been 
not only enthusiastically devoted to the cause of Cuban 
independence, but he had more than once, under circum- 
stances where his outspoken advocacy of his principles 
actually placed his life in jeopardy, proved himself a 
worthy champion of freedom, not only for his fellow citi- 
zens, but for Spanish subjects wherever they were being 
trodden beneath the iron heel of Spanish oppression. 
His love of liberty was not a mere enthusiasm, something 
superficial and acquired, but it was inborn, a fundamental 
part of his character, firmly knit into the very fibre of his 
life and its activities. 


While a student in Spain, he had joined the forces of 
General Prim, during the latter's first attempt to establish 
a republic in that country, and because of his complicity 
in that revolt, Cespedes had been banished from Spain. 
Returning to Cuba, in 1844, he settled at Bayamo, and 
took up the practice of law, where his skill as an advocate 
soon won him recognition as one of the foremost lawyers 
of the Island. But again his hatred of tyranny thrust 
him forth from the peaceful occupation of amassing a 
fortune in the pursuit of jurisprudence. He could not 
tranquilly pursue his daily course when he saw injustice 
and misrule rampant around him, and so, in 1852, he 
made a speech, fervidly denouncing Spain, and calling 
on high Heaven to aid the independence of Cuba, which 
was considered by the authorities to be so incendiary that 
he was arrested as a dangerous character, and subse- 
quently suffered a five months' imprisonment in Morro 
Castle, at Havana. 

Opportunity soon came to Cespedes to give actual proof 
that his principles were not abstract but concrete. The 
acid test was to be applied and he was not to be found 
wanting, for immediately upon the declaration by the 
Cuban republic of its principles of freedom and equal 
rights for all men, he voluntarily exemplified their opera- 
tion, so far as lay in his individual power, by emancipat- 
ing all the slaves on his own estate. 

The first decree of the provisional government was is- 
sued by General Cespedes on December 27. It was a 
proclamation of emancipation, as follows : 

"The revolution of Cuba, while proclaiming this inde- 
pendence of the country, has proclaimed with it all the 
liberties, and could not well commit the great inconsist- 
ency, to restrict them to only one part of the population of 
the country. Free Cuba is incompatible with slave 

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The supreme chieftain of the Cuban patriots in the Ten Years' 
War was Carlos Manuel de Cespedes y Borges, who before be- 
coming a soldier was eminent as an advocate, poet, and man of 
letters. He was born at Bayamo on April 18, 1819, and com- 
pleted his education at the University of Barcelona, Spain. Then 
he settled in Madrid, became associated with General Prim, and 
was implicated in his first attempt at revolution. For that he was 
banished to France, and later he was imprisoned for his Liberal 
utterances. Returning to Cuba, he personally started the Ten 
Years' War, with the story of which as elsewhere related he was 
inseparably identified as President of the Cuban Republic. On 
February 27, 1874, he was betrayed to the Spaniards by a servant 
who thus sought to save his own life, and after desperate resistance 
was wounded, captured, and put to death. 

reedom and eq 
iplified their opera-' 
power, by emancip 

lal government wa 
u>er 27. T 

proclaiming this inde- 
aimed with it all the 
nit the grea 

y one pi. of 

ttiblc with slave 


Cuba, and the abolition of the Spanish institutions must 
include, and by necessity and by reason of the greatest 
justice does include, the abolition of slavery as the most 
odious of all. Abolition of slavery has, therefore, been 
maintained among the principles proclaimed in the first 
manifesto issued by the revolution, and in the opinion of 
all Cubans, truly liberal, its entire realization must be 
the first of the acts for which the country employs its 
conquered rights. But as a general measure it can only 
be fully effected when the country in the full use of its 
conquered rights can, by means of universal suffrage, 
make the most suitable provision for carrying it through 
to real advantage, both for the old and the new citizens. 
The subject of the present measure is not, nor can it be, 
the abrogation of a right which those who are at present 
directing the operations of the revolution are far from 
believing themselves entitled to invade ; thus participating 
the solution of so difficult a question. On the other hand, 
however, the provisional government could not in its turn 
oppose the use of a right which our slaveholders possess 
in virtue of our laws, and which many of them wish to 
exercise, namely, to emancipate their slaves at once. It 
also sees how desirable it is to employ at once in the service 
of the country the freedmen, and how necessary to make 
haste to prevent the evils which they and the country 
might receive from a failure to employ them immediately. 
The government, therefore, urges the adoption of provi- 
sional dispositions, which are to serve as a rule for the 
military chiefs in the several districts of this department, 
in order to solve the questions presented to them. There- 
fore, availing myself of the faculties with which I am 
invested, I have now resolved that the following articles 
be observed. 

"I. Free are the slaves whom their masters at once pre- 


sent to the military chief for this purpose, the owners re- 
serving, if they choose, a claim to the indemnification 
which the nation may decree. 

"II. The freedom shall, for the present, be employed 
in the service of the country in such a manner as may be 
agreed upon. 

"III. To this end a committee shall be appointed to 
find for them employment, in accordance with regulations 
to be issued. 

"IV. In other cases, the slaves of loyal Cubans and of 
neutral Spaniards and foreigners shall continue to work, 
in accordance with the principle of respect for property 
proclaimed by the revolution. 

"V. The slaves of those who have been convicted of be- 
ing enemies of the country and openly hostile to the revo- 
lution, shall be confiscated with their other property and 
declared free without a right to indemnity, utilizing them 
in the service of the country. 

"VI. The owners who shall place their slaves in the 
service of the revolution without freeing them for the 
present, shall preserve their right as long as the slaving 
question in general is not decided. 

"VII. The slaves of the Palisades, who may present 
themselves to the Cuban authorities, shall at once be de- 
clared free, with a right either to live among us or to re- 
main among the mountaineers. 

"VIII. The isolated refugees who may be captured, or 
who may, without the consent of their masters, present 
themselves to the authorities or military chiefs, shall not 
be received without consulting their masters." 

Now this first government, of which Cespedes was made 
the chief, was merely, after all, a temporary affair, organ- 
ized to provide ways and means for creating a more per- 
manent body. Accordingly, on October 30, 1868, less 


than a month after the Declaration of Independence, Ces- 
pedes issued a proclamation declaring that his election to 
office had been only to provide for the time being an act- 
ing head of the provisional government; that he believed 
that the organization should at once take on the charac- 
ter of permanency ; that he had no thought of imposing his 
will upon Cuba; that he realized that he had not been 
elected to his place by the suffrage of the Cuban people, 
and that he had no assurance that, had they been given 
an opportunity to individually express themselves, he 
would have been their choice; and that, therefore, since 
it was practicable for all loyal Cubans to assemble in 
their respective communities and by their suffrage consti- 
tute a permanent government, he would gladly abide by 
their decision, and, if they desired, relinquish the power 
with which they had entrusted him. 

In response to this patriotic utterance, a convention was 
called, on April 10, 1869, at Guaimaro. The leaders of 
this first representative body of the Cuban people were 
the following: Miguel Gutierrez, Eduardo Machado, 
Antonio Lorda, Tranquilino Valdez and Arcadio Garcia, 
representing Villa Clara ; Honorato Castillo, representing 
Sancti Spiritus; Jose Maria Izaguirre, representing Ju- 
gari; Antonio Alcada and Jesus Rodriguez, representing 
Holguin; and Salvador Cisneros, Francisco Sanchez, Ig- 
nacio Agramonte Loynaz, Miguel Betancourt Guerra and 
Antonio Zambrana, representing Camaguey. 

At this convention, Cespedes resigned his position as 
provisional head of the government and commander-in- 
chief of the army, in order that some one might be regu- 
larly elected in his place, and in doing so he addressed his 
colleagues in the following memorable terms : 

"Now that the House of Representatives, gathered from 
all parts of the Island, has been happily inaugurated in 


Guaimaro, it becomes from the moment of its organization 
the supreme and only authority for all Cubans, because it 
constitutes the depository of the people's will, sovereign 
of the present and controller of the future. All tempo- 
rary power and authority ceases to have a rightful voice 
in Cuba from the very moment in which the wise demo- 
cratic system, laying its solid foundations beneath the 
gigantic shadow of the tree of liberty, has come to endow 
us after suffering the most iniquitous rule with the 
most beautiful and magnificent of human institutions a 
republican government. 

"Unfeigned gratitude I owe to the destiny which af- 
forded me the glory of being the first in Yara to raise the 
standard of independence, and the still greater though less 
merited satisfaction, to see crowded around me my fellow- 
citizens in demand of liberty, thus sustaining my weak 
arm and stimulating my poor efforts by their confidence. 
But another glory was reserved for me, far more grateful 
by my sentiments and democratic convictions that of 
also being the first to render homage to the popular 

"This duty fulfilled, having given an account to the 
fatherland of its most genuine representation of the work 
which with the assistance of its own heroic sons I had the 
good fortune to have commenced, it still behooves me, 
fellow-citizens, to fulfill another, not less imperious to 
my heart, of addressing my gratitude to you to you, 
without whom my humble, isolated efforts would not have 
produced other fruit than that of adding one patriot 
more to the number of preceding martyrs for independence 
to you, who, recognizing in me the principle rather than 
the man, came to stimulate me by your recognition of my- 
self as chief of the provisional government and the liber- 
ating army. 


"Fellow citizens of the Eastern Department, your ef- 
forts as initiators of the struggle against tyranny, your 
constancy, your sufferings, your heroic sacrifices of all 
descriptions, your privations, the combat without quarters 
which you have sustained and continue to sustain against 
an enemy far superior in armament and discipline, and 
who displays, for want of the valor which a good cause 
inspires, all the ferocity which is the attitude of tyranny, 
have been witnessed by myself, and so will remain eter- 
nally present to my heart. You are the vanguard of 
the soldiers of our liberties. I commend you to the ad- 
miration and to the gratitude of the Cubans. Continue 
your abnegation of self, your discipline, your valor, and 
your enthusiasm, which will entitle you to that grati- 
tude and that admiration. 

"Fellow citizens of the Western Department, if it has 
not been your good fortune to be the first in grasping arms, 
neither were you among the last in listening to the voice 
of the fatherland that cried for revolution. Your moral 
aid and assistance responded from the very outset to the 
call of your brethren of the Eastern and Central Depart- 
ments. Many of you hastened to the scene of revolution 
to share our colors. At this moment, despite the activity 
displayed by the Spanish Government in your districts, 
where its resources and the number of its hosts render 
more difficult the current of the revolution, that same Gov- 
ernment trembles before your determined attitude, from 
the Las Villas to Havana, and from Havana to the west- 
ern boundary, and your first deeds of arms were the pres- 
age to you and the brave and worthy sons of the Eastern 
and Central Departments of new and decisive triumphs. 

"Fellow citizens of all the Island: The blood of the 
patriots who have fallen during the first onset of the 
struggle has consecrated our aspirations with a glorious 


baptism. At this moment, when destiny has been pleased 
to close the mission of him who was your first leader, 
swear with him by that generous blood, that in order to 
render fruitful that great sacrifice you will shed your 
own, to the very last drop, in furtherance of the consum- 
mation of our independence, proclaimed in Yara. Swear 
with me to give up our lives a thousand times over in 
sustaining the republic proclaimed in Guaimaro. 

"Fellow citizens, long live our independence. Long 
live the popular sovereignty! Long live the Cuban Re- 
public ! Patria and liberty ! " 

The convention before proceeding to the election of 
officers of the Republic, drafted and adopted the first 
Constitution of Free Cuba, as follows: 

"Article I. The legislative power shall be vested in a 
House of Representatives. 

"Article II. To this body shall be delegated an equal 
representation from each of the four states into which the 
Island of Cuba shall be divided. 

"Article III. These states are Oriente, Camaguey, 
Las Villas and Occidente. 

"Article IV. No one shall be eligible as representa- 
tives of any of these states except a citizen of the Repub- 
lic, who is upward of 20 years of age. 

"Article V. No representative of any state shall hold 
any other official position during his representative term. 

"Article VI. Whenever a vacancy occurs in the repre- 
sentation of any state, the executive thereof shall have 
power to fill such vacancy until the ensuing election. 

"Article VII. The House of Representatives shall 
elect a President of the Republic, a General-in-Chief of 
its Armies, a President of the Congress and other execu- 
tive officers. The General-in-Chief shall be subordinate 


to the Executive, and shall render him an account of the 
performance of his duties. 

"Article VIII. The President of the Republic, the 
General-in-Chief and the Members of the House of Rep- 
resentatives are amenable to charges which may be made 
by any citizen to the House of Representatives, which 
shall proceed to examine into the charges preferred; and 
if in their judgment it be necessary the case of the ac- 
cused shall be submitted to the Judiciary. 

"Article IX. The House of Representatives shall have 
full power to dismiss from office any functionary whom 
they have convicted. 

"Article X. The legislative acts and decisions of the 
House of Representatives, in order to be valid and bind- 
ing, must have the sanction of the President of the Re- 

"Article XI. If the President fails to approve the acts 
and decisions of the House, he shall, without delay, re- 
turn the same with his objections thereto, for the recon- 
sideration of that body. 

"Article XII. Within 10 days after their reception, 
the President shall return all bills, resolutions and enact- 
ments which may be sent to him by the House for his ap- 
proval, with his sanction thereof, or with his objections 

"Article XIII. Upon the passage of any Act, Bill or 
Resolution, after a reconsideration thereof, by the House, 
it shall be sanctioned by the President. 

"Article XIV. The House of Representatives shall 
legislate upon Taxation, Public Loans, and Ratification 
of Treaties; and shall have power to declare and conclude 
War, to authorize the President to issue letters of marque, 
to raise troops and provide for their support, to organize 


and maintain a Navy, and to regulate reprisals as to the 
public enemy. 

"Article XV. The House of Representatives shall re- 
main in permanent session from the time of the ratifica- 
tion of this fundamental law by the People until the ter- 
mination of the war with Spain. 

"Article XVI. The Executive Power shall be vested 
in the President of the Republic. 

"Article XVII. No one shall be eligible to the Presi- 
dency, who is not a native of the Republic, and over 30 
years of age. 

"Article XVIII. All treaties made by the President 
may be ratified by the House of Representatives. 

"Article XIX. The President shall have power to ap- 
point Ambassadors, Ministers-plenipotentiary, and Con- 
suls of the Republic, to foreign countries. 

"Article XX. The President shall treat with Ambas- 
sadors, and shall see that the laws are faithfully exe- 
cuted. He shall also issue commissions to all the func- 
tionaries of the Republic. 

"Article XXL The President shall propose the names 
of the members of his Cabinet to the House of Represen- 
tatives for its approval. 

"Article XXII. The Judiciary shall form an inde- 
pendent co-ordinate department of the Government, under 
the organization of a special law. 

"Article XXIII. Voters are required to possess the 
same qualifications as to age and citizenship as the mem- 
bers of House of Representatives. 

"Article XXIV. All the inhabitants of the Republic 
of Cuba are absolutely free. 

"Article XXV. All the citizens are considered as sol- 
diers of the Liberating Army. 



"Article XXVI. The Republic shall not bestow digni- 
ties, titles, nor special privileges. 

"Article XXVII. The citizens of the Republic shall 
not accept honors nor titles from foreign countries. 

"Article XXVIII. The House of Representatives 
shall not abridge the Freedom of Religion, nor of the 
Press, nor of Public Meetings, nor of Education, nor of 
Petition, nor any inalienable Right of the People. 

"Article XXIX. The Constitution can be amended 
only by the unanimous concurrence of the House of Rep- 

The next day the Convention 
proceeded to the election of offi- 
cers of the House of Representa- 
tives. Salvador Cisneros was 
elected President; Ignacio Agra- 
monte Loynaz and Antonio Zam- 
brana were elected Secretaries, 
and Miguel Betancourt and Edu- 
ardo Machado, Vice-Secretaries. 

The seventh article of the Con- 
stitution was immediately put into 
practice, when the convention, constituting itself a House 
of Representatives, confirmed the confidence of the 
Cuban peoples in Cespedes, by appointing him Presi- 
dent of the Republic of Cuba, while Manuel Quesada was 


Manuel Quesada, for a time military head of the Ten Years' War, wa3 
born in Camaguey in 1830. He was banished for political reasons and 
went to Mexico, where he fought under Benito Juarez. In 1868 he joined 
the patriot army and became one of its leaders; in 1870 being its commander 
in chief. Failing to carry the war into Pinar del Rio, he went on a trip 
to Venezuela, and trying to return was pursued by a Spanish cruiser and 
took refuge in Santo Domingo. On his final return to Cuba he was de- 
posed from his command for being too ambitious and autocratic, whereupon 
he went to the United States and thence to Venezuela, where he died in 1886. 



made Commander-in-Chief of the Army. President Ces- 
pedes immediately assumed his office and issued this 
proclamation : 

"To the People of Cuba: 

"Compatriots: The establishment of a free govern- 
ment in Cuba, on the basis of democratic principles, was 
the most fervent wish of my heart. The effective realiza- 
tion of this wish was, therefore, enough to satisfy my as- 
pirations and amply repay the services which, jointly with 
you, I may have been able to devote to the cause of Cuban 
independence. But the will of my compatriots has gone 
far beyond this, by investing me with the most honored 
of all duties, the supreme magistracy of the Republic. 

"I am not blind to the great labors required in the 
exercise of the high functions which you have placed 
in my charge in these critical moments, notwithstanding 
the aid that may be derived from other powers of the 
state. I am not ignorant of the grave responsibility 
which I assume in accepting the Presidency of our new- 
born Republic. I know that my weak powers would be 
far from being equal to the demand if left to themselves 
alone. But this will not occur and that conviction fills 
me with faith in the future. 

"In the act of beginning the struggle with the oppres- 
sors, Cuba has assumed the solemn duty to consummate 
her independence or perish in the attempt, and in giving 
herself a democratic government she obligates herself to 
become Republican. This double obligation, contracted 
in the presence of free America, before the liberal world, 
and, what is more, before our own conscience, signifies our 
determination to be heroic and to be virtuous. 

"Cubans ! On your heroism I rely for the consumma- 
tion of our independence, and on your virtue I count to 


consolidate the Republic. You may count on my abne- 
gation of self. 

"Guaimaro, April 11, 1869." 

This was followed two days later by General Que- 
sada's proclamation: 

"Citizen Chiefs, Officers and Soldiers of the Liberating 
Army of Cuba : When I returned to my country to place 
my sword at your service, fulfilling the most sacred of 
duties, realizing the most intense aspiration of my life, 
the vote of the Camagueyans, to my surprise, honored me 
by conferring on me the command of their army. Not- 
withstanding my poor merits and capacity, I accepted 
the post because I expected to find and did find in the 
Camagueyans civic virtues well established, and this has 
rendered supportable the charge of the responsibility 
which I assumed. 

"Now the legislative power of the Republic has filled 
me with a greater surprise, promoting me to the Com- 
mand-in-Chief of the liberating army of Cuba. The 
want of confidence in my own resources naturally moves 
me anew upon stronger grounds, although it also strength- 
ens the conviction that the patriotism of my brethren will 
supply the insufficiency of my capacity. 

"Camagueyans! You have given me undoubted 
proofs of your virtues. You are models of subordination 
and enthusiasm. Preserve and extend your discipline! 

"Soldiers of the East! Initiators of our sacred revo- 
lution! Veterans of Cuba! I salute you with sincere 
affection, counting on your gallant chiefs, in order that 
they may aid me in realizing the eminent work which we 
have undertaken, and I hope that union will strengthen 
our forces. 


"Soldiers of the Villas ! You have already struggled 
with the despot. I felicitate you for the efforts made and 
invite you to continue them. You are patriots. You 
will be victors. 

"Soldiers of the West! I know your heroic exploits, 
and venerate them. I am well aware of the disadvantage 
of the situation in which you find yourselves, in contrast 
with our oppressors, and it is our purpose to remedy this. 
Accept the homage of my admiration and the succor of 
my arms. 

"Citizen chiefs, officers, and soldiers of the Cuban 
Army ! Union, discipline, and perseverance ! 

"The rapid increase which the glorious new Cuba has 
taken frightens our oppressors, who now are suffering 
the pangs of desperation, and carrying on a war of ven- 
geance, not of principles. The tyrant Valmaseda rages 
with the incendiary's torch and the homicidal knife over 
the fields of Cuba. He has never done otherwise, but 
now he adds to his crime the still greater one of publish- 
ing it by a proclamation, which we can only describe by 
pronouncing it to be a proclamation worthy of the Span- 
ish Government. Thereby our property is menaced by 
fire and pillage. This is nothing. It threatens us with 
death ; and this is nothing. But even our mothers, wives, 
daughters, and sisters are menaced with resort to violence. 

"Ferocity is the valor of cowards. 

"I implore you, sons of Cuba, to recollect at all hours 
the proclamation of Valmaseda. That document will 
shorten the time necessary for the triumph of our cause. 
That document is an additional proof of the character of 
our enemies. Those beings appear deprived even of 
those gifts which Nature has conceded to the irrationals 
the instinct of foresight and of warning. We have to 
struggle with tyrants, always such ; the very same ones of 


the Inquisition, of the Conquest, and of Spanish domin- 
ion in America. In birth and in death they live and suc- 
ceed; the Torquemadas, the Pizarros, the Boves, the 
Morillos, the Tacons, the Conchas, and the Valmasedas. 
We have to combat with the assassins of old women and of 
children, with the mutilators of the dead, with the idola- 
tors of gold ! 

"Cubans ! If you would save your honor and that of 
your families ; if you would conquer forever your liberty, 
be soldiers. War leads you to peace and to happiness. 
Inertia precipitates you to misfortune and to dishonor. 
Viva Cuba ! Viva the President of the Republic ! Viva 
the Liberating Army! Patria and Liberty! 


The proclamation of Count Valmaseda, to which Gen- 
eral Quesada referred, had been issued at Bayamo on 
April 4, and was as follows: 

"Inhabitants of the Country 

"The forces which I expected have arrived. With 
them I will afford protection to the good and summarily 
punish all those who still rebel against the government of 
the metropolis. 

"Know ye that I have pardoned those who have fought 
against us, armed ; know ye that your wives, mothers and 
sisters have in me found the protection they admired and 
which you rejected ; know, also, that many of the pardoned 
have turned against me. After all these excesses, after 
so much ingratitude and so much villainy, it is impossible 
for me to be the man I was heretofore. Deceptive neu- 
trality is no longer possible. 'He that is not with me is 
against me,' and in order that my soldiers may know 
how to distinguish you, hearken to the orders given them: 

"Every man from the age of 15 upward, found beyond 


his farm, will be shot, unless a justification for his ab- 
sence be proven. 

"Every hut that is found uninhabited will be burned by 
the troops. 

"Every hamlet where a white cloth in the shape of a 
flag is not hoisted in token that its inhabitants desire 
peace, will be reduced to ashes. 

"The women who are not found in their respective 
dwellings, or in those of their relatives, will return to the 
towns of Jiguani or Bayamo, where they will be duly pro- 
vided for. Those who fail to do so will be taken by com- 
pulsion. These orders will be in force on and after the 
14th inst! 


"Bayamo, April 4, 1869." 

General Cespedes about this time sent to the Govern- 
ment of the United States, in his name and in that of 
the Provisional Government of Cuba, a request for recog- 
nition, as belligerents. His letter contained these refer- 
ences to the strength of the movement in Cuba : 

"We now hold much more than fifty leagues of the in- 
terior of this Island in the Eastern Department, among 
which are the people (or communities) of Jiguani, Tunas, 
Baire, Yara, Barrancas, Datil, Cauto, Embarcadero, 
Guisa, and Homo, besides the cities of Bayamo and Hol- 
guin, in all numbering 107,853 inhabitants, who obey us, 
and have sworn to shed to the last drop of blood in our 

"In the mentioned city of Bayamo, we have established 
a provisional government, and formed our general quar- 
ters, where we hold more than three hundred of the enemy 
prisoners, taken from the Spanish Army, among whom 
are generals and governors of high rank. All this has 
been accomplished in ten days, without other resources 



than those offered by the country we have passed through, 
without other losses than three or four killed and six or 
eight wounded." 

However this impressed the Government at Washing- 
ton, and notwithstanding the marked sympathy in the 
United States for the cause of the Republic, the desired 
recognition was not obtained. 

The impression of the revolution and its leaders which 
was given to the people of the United States may be 
judged from what was written by an authoritative corre- 
spondent of the New York Tribune: 

"General Cespedes, the hero and chief of the revolt 
is a man of good appearance, fifty years of age, and has 
traveled in the United States. 
His second in command, Arango, 
the Marquis of Santa Lucia, is a 
native of Puerto Principe, and at 
taking part in the insurrection 
emancipated his slaves. General 
Aguilera was a man of great 
wealth, and had once held under 
the Government the office of 
mayor over the town of Bayamo 
just burnt by the rebels. He too 
released his slaves. General Donate Marmol bears 
the repute of having genuine military talent, as he is 


One of the organizers of the Ten Years' War, Francisco V. Aguilera was 
born at Bayamo in 1821, of a wealthy and distinguished family, and was 
finely educated in America and Europe. Although married to the daughter 
of the Spanish Governor of Santiago, General Kindelan, he was an ardent 
patriot, liberating his slaves and giving his great fortune to the cause of in- 
dependence. He served in the Ten Years' War as Secretary of War and as 
Commander in Chief in Oriente ; and succeeded Salvador Cisneros Betan- 
court as President of the Revolutionary government. He died in New York 
on February 22, 1877, and though his government had not been officially 
recognized, full honors as to a Chief of State were paid at his funeral. 


said to have defeated his opponents in most of their 
encounters with him, and signally at Bairi, in the East- 
ern District. He is admired for the ready invention of 
a new weapon of defence in war, which is called the 
horguetilla, and is a kind of hook to resist bayonet 
charges. The hook, which can be made without much 
trouble, of wood, is held with the left hand to catch the 
bayonet, while with the right the rebel brings his rude 
machete, a kind of sword, down upon his Spanish foe. 
General Quesada, the other mentionable Cuban leader, 
served with credit on the side of Juarez during the inter- 
vention in Mexico. The soldiers of the revolt are of the 
rawest kind. A good part of them have been recruited 
from the emancipated slaves of Cespedes, Arango, and 
Aguilera. Many of the weapons are of the poorest kind, 
but I have heard that a certain number of Enfields have 
been furnished them, and lately some hand grenades. It 
is told me that no help, or exceedingly little, has reached 
them from the North. Among some other things of their 
own device, they have been employing wooden cannon, 
good for one shot and no more." 

The insurrection was eagerly supported by the "Juntas 
of the Laborers." These societies, formed at the sugges- 
tion of Rafael Merchan, issued a proclamation which 
enumerated the wrongs and insults endured by them un- 
der the Spanish rule of Cuba, and stated the principles 
for which they were willing to fight : 

"The Laborers, animated by the love for their native 
land, aspire to the hope of seeing Cuba happy and pros- 
perous by virtue of her own power, and demand the in- 
violability of individuals, their homes, their families, and 
the fruits of their labor, which they would have guaran- 
teed by the liberty of conscience, of speech, of the press, 
and of peaceful meetings. In fact, they demand a gov- 


ernment of the country for and by the country, free from 
an army of parasites and soldiers that only serves to con- 
sume it and oppress it. And, as nothing of that kind can 
be obtained from Spain, they intend to fight that power 
with all available means, and drive and uproot its domi- 
nation from the face of Cuba. Respecting above all and 
before all the dignity of man, the association declares that 
it will not accept slavery as a forced inheritance of the 
past. However, instead of abolishing it as an arm by 
which to sink the Island into barbarity, as threatened by 
the government of Spain, they view abolition as a means 
of improving the moral and national condition of the 
working men, and thereby to place property and wealth 
in a more just and safe position. 

"Sons of their times, baptised in the vivid stream of 
civilization, and, therefore above preoccupation of nation- 
ality, the laborers will respect the neutrality of Spaniards, 
but among Cubans will distinguish only friends and foes, 
those that are with them or against them. To the former 
they offer peace, fraternity, and concord; to the latter, 
brutality and war war and brutality that will be more 
implacable to the traitors to Cuba, where they first saw the 
day, who turn their arms against them, or offer any 
asylum or refuge to their tyrants. We, the laborers, do 
not ignore the value of nationality, but at the present 
moment consider it of secondary moment. Before na- 
tionality stands liberty, the indisputable condition of ex- 
istence. We must be a people before becoming a nation. 
When the Cubans constitute a free people they will re- 
ceive the nationality that becomes them. Now they have 

The Captain-General replied to this in January, 1869, 
with a proclamation, full of promises which, however, 
were never fulfilled. It said : 


"I will brave every danger, accept every responsibility, 
for your welfare. The revolution has swept away the 
Bourbon dynasty, tearing up by the roots a plant so 
poisonous that it polluted the air we breathe. To the 
citizen shall be returned his rights, to man his dignity. 
You will receive all the reforms which you require. 
Cubans and Spaniards are all brothers. From this day, 
Cuba will be considered a province of Spain. Freedom 
of the press, the right of meeting in public, and represen- 
tation in the national Cortes, the three fundamental prin- 
ciples of true liberty, are granted you. 

"Cubans and Spaniards! Speaking in the name of 
our mother, Spain, I adjure you to forget the past, hope 
for the future, and establish union and fraternity." 

Cuba had declared herself to be an independent state, 
but that was merely the first step in establishing her in- 
dependence, and a long and bitter struggle lay before 
her before she could hope to accomplish in fact that for 
which her loyal citizens had armed themselves and which 
they were determined to achieve. 

The first regularly elected House of Representatives 
took their seats at Guaimaro, whereupon the members 
of the former convention resigned their seats to their 
successors. In the new House, Jorge Milanes was 
elected from the District of Manzanillo, Manuel Gomez 
Silva from Camaguey, Manuel Gomez Pena from Guan- 
tanamo, Tomas Estrada from Cobre, Pio Posada from 
Santiago de Cuba, Fernando Fornaris from Bayamo, 
and Pedro Aguero from Las Tunas. Later sessions of 
the House of Representatives were held at Cascorro and 
at Sibanico. These towns, held sacred by Cubans as the 
birthplaces of liberty, were stoutly defended during the 
revolution, and in spite of repeated efforts the Spaniards 
were never able to effect their capture, although they 


used their most highly trained troops, and most efficient 
officers in their attacks. 

Beginning with August 6, 1869, the Assembly began 
to organize the government along the most enlightened 
lines, and provided for the administration of justice by 
establishing a Judiciary Department with the following 
branches : 

1. A Supreme Court. 

2. Criminal Judges. 

3. Civil Judges. 

4. Prefects and sub-prefects. 

5. Court Martial. 

The Supreme Court was composed of a presiding offi- 
cer, two judges and a judge-advocate. Each of the 
states of the Republic was divided into districts, and a 
civil and criminal judge as well as an attorney for the 
Commonwealth were appointed for each district. 

Each state was to be ruled by a Civil Governor, and 
each district by a Lieutenant-Governor, while the dis- 
tricts were divided into prefects and sub-prefects, each 
with its appropriate ruler. The officers in question were 
in every case to be elected by popular suffrage. 

A chronological enumeration of the laws enacted by 
the Congress during 1869 is not only pertinent, but it 
divulges their evident intention to administer the gov- 
ernment of the island, should they obtain the power to 
do so, along the most humane and enlightened lines. 

On May 11, 1869, an amnesty was granted to all 
political prisoners, who had not already been sentenced. 

On June 4, much needed provisions for civil mar- 
riages, and regulations concerning the same, were en- 

On June 7, the commerce of the Republic was de- 
clared free to all nations. 




The enactment of June 15, while a customary pro- 
ceeding, would have a touch of irony connected with it, 
if it were not almost pathetic, as revealing the sturdy 
belief of these officials of the young Republic in the ulti- 
mate triumph of their cause. It 
was an authorization of the is- 
sue of $2,000,700 of legal tender 
paper money, to be redeemed by 
the Republic in coin, at par, 
when circumstances enabled 
them to do so that is when they 
had conquered the enemy and 
established their Republic on a 
lasting basis. The bills thus 
issued had already reached the 
officers of the Republic, having 
been engraved in New York, and sent to Cuba by the 
New York Junta. 

On July 9, the army was definitely organized, and this 
organization remained in force until the capture and 
death of General Quesada. It was as follows: 

Commander-in-Chief .... General Manuel Quesada 

Chief-of-Staff General Thomas Jordan 

Chief of Artillery Major Beauvilliers 

Brigadier-Major of Orders . . Major Bernabe Varona 

Sanitary Department Adolfo Varona 

First Division Army of Camaguey 
Major General Ignacio Agramonte 


Bernabe de Varona, a brilliant writer and devoted patriot, was born at 
Camaguey in 1845, a member of a distinguished family. He entered the 
Ten Years War with much zeal and displayed exceptional military skill. 
He went on various patriotic missions to New York, to France and to 
Mexico, and was instrumental in securing much aid for the patriot cause. 
His last expedition was on the ill-fated Virginius, on which he was cap- 
tured and shot to death at Santiago de Cuba on November 4, 1873. 


Commanding 1st Brigade Colonel Miguel Bosse 

2d Brigade General Francisco Castillo 

3d Brigade Colonel Cornelio Porro 

4th Brigade Colonel Lope Recio 

5th Brigade. . Colonel Manuel Valdes Urra 
6th Brigade . . . Colonel Manuel Agramonte 

1st Battalion Colonel Pedro Recio 

2d Battalion Colonel Jose Lino Cica 

" 3d Battalion Colonel Rafael Bobadilla 

Second Division Army of Oriente 
Major General Francisco Aguilera 

Commanding 1st Brigade General Donato Marmol 

2d Brigade General Luis Marcano 

3d Brigade General Julio Peralta 

Third Division Army of Las Villas 

Commanding 1st Brigade General C. Acosta 

2d Brigade. . .General Salome Hernandez 
3d Brigade General Adolf o Cabada 

A law was enacted providing that every citizen of the 
Republic, between the ages of 18 and 50 years, must 
under compulsion take up arms for the cause of liberty. 

On August 7, the powers of the various officers of the 
Government, including the Secretaries of State, were de- 
scribed and fixed. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that the officers of 
the new Republic had high aspirations for an orderly 
government, and for the just administration of wise laws 
for the benefit of the people. Unfortunately, in a large 
measure, the Republic of Cuba established at that time 
was a government only in name, and was not destined to 
take the reins in administering the affairs of the Island, 
except in a more or less theoretical way. 


A REVOLUTION usually involves fighting as well as the 
organization of a government. In the case of Cuba, this 
was especially inevitable. It was realized by the pa- 
triots in advance that the redemption of Cuba from the 
tyranny of Spain could only be accomplished by force of 
arms, and consequently plans to that effect had been care- 
fully perfected in advance. It was highly creditable to 
the Cubans that they so promptly organized a dignified 
and worthy government, and adopted a constitution fav- 
orably comparable with that of any other republic in 
the world. It was no less creditable to their judgment 
and their earnestness that they had already prepared for 
extensive military operations, and that they at once en- 
tered upon these in a vigorous and systematic manner. 
Plans for the uprising had indeed been matured before 
the breaking out of the revolution in Spain, but the lat- 
ter event undoubtedly hastened the execution of their 

At the outset, before complete organization was ef- 
fected, the insurgents at Bayamo were under the leader- 
ship of Francisco V. Aguilera, Manuel A. Aguilera and 
Francisco M. Osorio ; at Manzanillo the leader was Car- 
los Manuel Cespedes ; at Holguin, Belisario Alvarez was 
in command ; at Las Tunas, Vincente Garcia ; at Jiguani, 
Donate Marmol; and at Santiago, Manuel Fernandez. 

When Cespedes issued his proclamation on October 10, 
the insurgents had only 147 men in their ranks, armed 
with forty-five fowling pieces, four rifles, and a few pis- 
tols and machetes not enough arms to provide one 



weapon apiece. But volunteers began to flock to their 
standards and in two days the army had increased to over 
twenty-six times its original strength, and numbered up- 
wards of four thousand men, while at the end of the 
month it had more than doubled, and had grown to nine 
thousand seven hundred. By November 8, the revolu- 
tionary army contained twelve thousand men, and at the 
end of 1868, it had grown to twenty-six thousand. 

But even this growth did not give them anything like 
the strength of the Spanish Army in Cuba. In October, 
1868, Spain had in Cuba twelve regiments of infantry, 
one corps of engineers, one regiment of artillery, two regi- 
ments of cavalry, one section of civil guards, one regiment 
of armed firemen, one regiment of prison guards, and five 
regiments of infantry and cavalry militia, amounting to 
the following: 

Regular troops of all kinds, including officers. . . 14,300 

Civil guards 640 

Prison guards 120 

Armed firemen 1 ,000 

Infantry and cavalry militia 3,400 

Soldiers who had served their time but had been 

kept in service 300 


These troops were distributed to the proportion of 
three-fifths of them in the Western Department, and the 
remainder divided between the Central and Eastern De- 
partments. They were amply armed and munitioned, al- 
though it must be admitted that not all of their arma- 
ment was of the newest pattern. It was, however, in 
excellent condition and they had six thousand of the 
latest model Remington rifles. 


At the end of the year, the Spanish troops had been 
augmented by large reinforcements from the mother coun- 
try, so that Spain had in the field a thoroughly organized 
and abundantly equipped army of about 110,000 men, 
which, of course, was capable of being greatly increased. 
She also had in Cuban waters the following men of war, 
at the beginning of October, 1868: 

2 Steam frigates 91 guns 

2 2d class steamers 12 guns 

5 3d class steamers 10 guns 

5 screw steamers, schooner rigged. . . 15 guns 

128 guns 

Of course, she at once added to this navy, and it soon 
grew to formidable proportions, while the revolutionists 
had no navy at all, with which to repel Spanish attacks 
from the sea. 

Despite the great preponderance of forces in its favor, 
the Spanish government did not at first depend upon 
military prowess for the suppression of the insurrection 
and the retention of Cuba as its colony. This was per- 
haps, in a measure, because of the revolution in Spain, 
which was keeping the Government well occupied with 
its internal affairs, and also because of the desire of 
some of the liberal leaders in Spain to avoid endless 
strife and bloodshed. Therefore at first, pacific meas- 
ures were contemplated. It had been thought that Gen- 
eral Dulce, as Captain-General of the Island for his 
third term, would be able to effect a compromise with 
the Cubans, because of his kindly disposition, and the 
good feeling which prevailed between him and the 
Cubans. His good offices were greatly hampered and 
off-set by the arrogance of the Volunteers, who did not 


hold him in high regard, since they thought him much 
too gentle with the Cubans, and who were not in sym- 
pathy with his mediations. Perhaps the flame of revolu- 
tion had now grown too hot to be quenched by soothing 
measures. At any rate, the hope of the Spanish Govern- 
ment proved delusive. On the one hand, the patriot 
leaders were outspoken in their unwillingness to accept 
Duke's proposals of an amicable settlement, based on 
compromise ; and on the other, the Volunteers frankly op- 
posed making any concessions to the Islanders, and di- 
rected all their influence against every measure which 
Dulce offered as a solution. In this they had the ul- 
terior motive of driving Dulce from office, so that there 
might be placed in his position a more arbitrary and 
ruthless man, one of their own kidney. 

In reviewing the state of affairs in Cuba at this early 
stage of the Ten Years' War, and comparing the strength 
and composition of the contending forces, it should be 
borne in mind that the Cuban army in the field was a 
mere fragment of the potential strength of the Cuban 
people. There were probably 150,000 Cubans, able 
bodied and of military age, who were both willing and 
eager to enter the war, but who were restrained from so 
doing for fear of what would befall their families if they 
identified themselves openly with the patriot cause. If 
they left their homes to take the field, their wives and 
children would be at the mercy of Spanish troops or of 
the still more to be dreaded and pitiless Volunteers. If 
we add to this the not unnatural doubt of the possibility of 
succeeding in the revolt against the formidable power of 
Peninsular Spair a doubt fostered and confirmed by the 
failure of the former attempts we cannot blame the 
Cubans for not more generally participating in active 
operations. Their absentation from so doing is to be 


charged not, certainly, to cowardice or to lack of patriot- 
ism, but to an excess of prudence. 

In these circumstances, the numerical odds were at 
the beginning, and remained all through the war, tre- 
mendously against the Cubans. Besides this their army 
in a large measure, particularly at the beginning, con- 
sisted of men who had had no experience in warlike 
manoeuvres, and who lacked military drilling, for while 
preparations for uprisings had been as constant as had 
been the uprisings themselves, naturally the revolution- 
ists, when their revolt was in an incipient stage, did not 
wish to call attention to what they were planning by put- 
ting their sympathizers through military tactics. The 
Cuban Army also lacked a tremendous stabilizer of 
morale, in not being properly uniformed, but rather pre- 
senting a motley appearance on the field. In fact there 
were many times when they were so hard put that they 
were not only inadequately clothed, but suffered for lack 
of food. The fact that they were able so frequently to 
defeat the highly trained and well equipped Spanish 
forces, and to hold their ground as successfully, as they 
did year after year, is the highest possible tribute to their 
valor, their intelligence in military matters, and their 
patriotic devotion. 

The earliest engagements between the opposing forces 
occurred on October 13, 1868, at three places, not widely 
separated; Yara, Bairi and Jiguani; in all of which the 
Cuban patriots were successful. The last of the three 
named was considered by the patriots to be an extremely 
important victory, and was accomplished by troops under 
the command of General Donato Marmol. Heartened 
by this good fortune, the patriots on October 1 5 laid siege 
to Bayamo, and three days later effected its capture; 
whereupon that place was made the temporary seat of 


the Cuban Government. These victories were all the 
more creditable and encouraging because, we must re- 
member, while the Spanish Army numbered many thou- 
sands scattered it is true in various parts of the Island 
the Cuban Army was only one-fourth as large and 
poorly armed and equipped. At all times during the 
first engagements, the patriots were outnumbered, but 
they made up in courage what they lacked in numbers, 
and their enthusiasm and zeal for the cause for which 
they were fighting carried them safely against tremendous 

Late in October on the 26th to be exact the patriots 
attacked the Spanish troops at Las Tunas, and also at 
Villa del Cobre at the foot of Monte Alta Garcia, be- 
tween Puerto Principe and Nuevitas, and at Moran. In 
all these engagements the Cubans were greatly hampered 
by the serious lack of arms and munitions, but if they 
were not entirely successful they were far from routed, 
they lost little ground, and maintained very complete con- 
trol over those portions of the Central and Eastern De- 
partments which were in sympathy with them. 

By the early part of November, 1868, the Cubans had 
thoroughly beaten the troops under the command of the 
Spanish Colonel Demetrio Quiros, and forced him to 
retreat, and were thus enabled to advance into the very 
suburbs of Santiago de Cuba, the ancient capital of the 
Island, and at this time the capital of the Eastern De- 
partment. They promptly cut the aqueduct which sup- 
plied that city with water, and thereby caused not only 
great discomfort but something resembling panic among 
the inhabitants. The patriots were naturally reluctant 
to resort to such measures, because of the suffering which 
it caused to their own friends and sympathizers; yet if 
the Spanish garrison in Santiago was to be brought to 


terms, any strategic advantage which the Cubans could 
acquire must be used to the utmost. 

The third week in November found them in possession 
of the towns of El Caney and El Cobre ; the latter famous 
as the site of the first copper mines opened in Cuba, and 
the former as the scene of one of the sharpest engage- 
ments of the United States war with Spain in 1898. 
The patriots kept control of these two places for several 
weeks, and then deeming it inexpedient to undertake any 
further operations against Santiago, which was not only 
garrisoned by the Spanish Army but also protected by 
the Spanish fleet, they withdrew their forces to the de- 
fense of Bayamo, which was now being seriously threat- 
ened by the troops of Count Valmaseda, reenforced by 
those under Colonel Lono, who had come thither from 
Manati, under Colonel Campillo from Manzanillo, 
Colonel Mana from Puerto Principe, and Colonel Quiro, 
who had hastened to Bayamo from Santiago. With all 
these Spanish troops, well armed and abundantly sup- 
plied with ammunition concentering upon the place, Pres- 
ident Cespedes realized that it would be impolitic to at- 
tempt to resist a siege. After consultation with his asso- 
ciates, the result of which was a unanimous decision, he 
set fire to the city and withdrew his troops. In conse- 
quence, when Valmaseda arrived a little later, he found 
nothing left of Bayamo but ruins. 

This loss of their temporary capital did not perceptibly 
weaken the Cuban position; indeed the patriot cause 
steadily grew in strength and numbers. The entire jur- 
isdiction of Holguin revolted against Spanish authority, 
on October 28, and the inhabitants, in large numbers, 
rushed to take up arms with the patriots. A week later 
Camaguey followed the example of Holguin. The Span- 
ish government both at home and in Cuba was in the 


position of a man sitting on a couch under which had 
been stored a quantity of bombs, all timed to go off at 
irregular intervals, and from which position there was 
no escape. They did not know which way to jump. 
The high officials in both countries lived in an uncer- 
tainty as to events in Cuba which must have been nerve 
racking. Indeed to mix our metaphors they never 
knew where the fever of revolutions was scheduled to 
break out next. If they succeeded in getting it under 
control in one place, and began to feel a bit secure against 
an epidemic, the next morning they found what to them 
seemed a new eruption, and one which they had not been 
able to anticipate. They conquered, or apparently sub- 
dued, the patriots in one portion of the Island, and im- 
mediately those in another burst forth into active opposi- 
tion to what the Spanish government would have termed 
law and order, but which the insurgents called by the 
less pleasant terms of cruelty and unjust oppressions. 
And occasionally, as we have seen, there glimmered in 
some Spanish intelligence a faint doubt as to the efficacy 
of their usual methods, and then for a very short time 
the authorities would try temporizing. But the patriots 
had not suffered for generations from Spanish misrule 
without having learned to mistrust the wiles of their 
oppressors, and they viewed with more or less cynicism 
any surface indications of a less tyrannous rule. 

With the revolts of Camaguey and Holguin, the Span- 
ish authorities came to the conclusion that it was about 
time to try temporizing, and to endeavor in some way 
to pacify the patriots. It may be that they would have 
actually made concessions we have it from one authority 
that they were willing at this time to grant almost any- 
thing but the one thing which was the single desire of 
the patriots. At any rate, on January 19, 1869, they 


made a formal proposal for a meeting between repre- 
sentatives of the belligerents for the discussion of the 
issues between them, and for a serious attempt to effect 
a compromise. President Cespedes felt that the time 
for compromise had passed, long years before. The die 
had been cast. The revolution had one aim, complete 
freedom, and that was above all things the one conces- 
sion which the Spaniards would not make. But he was 
too clever not to realize that after all something might 
be gained by compliance, if no more than a chance to 
feel out the mettle and present designs of the Spaniards. 
It was possible that if he sent a clever enough envoy he 
might learn much that would be to his advantage in 
future negotiations. He was under no obligation to con- 
sent to or even to consider seriously any terms which 
the Spaniards might offer, so that he had nothing to 
lose by such a proceeding, and it was barely possible that 
he might gain valuable information. 

So he assented to the proposal, and sent his representa- 
tive, Augustin Arango, to Puerto Principe, under safe 
conduct issued by the Spanish Government at Manzan- 
illo. It is probable that the safe conduct would have 
been respected by the Spanish authorities and Spanish 
troops. But unfortunately, not only for the innocent en- 
voy, and for the patriots, but also for any hope that the 
Spaniards may have entertained if indeed their offer 
had been made in good faith, and there is always a meas- 
ure of doubt, in the face of their usual trickery of an 
amicable understanding, Arango fell into the hands of 
the Volunteers, who, in quite characteristic manner, con- 
temptuously disregarded the credentials of their own gov- 
ernment, and cruelly and brutally murdered General Ces- 
pedes's messenger, immediately upon his entrance into 
Puerto Principe. 


It is not difficult to picture the rage and disgust of 
the patriots at this new example of Spanish perfidy, 
which so clearly demonstrated the futility of attempting 
any negotiations of any kind whatever with an enemy 
capable of such lack of honor. The death of Arango, 
therefore, put an end to the farce of Spanish pretended 
repentance. And this circumstance did not pass without 
the news being spread all over the island. Patriots who 
had been timidly balancing themselves in outward neu- 
trality, were so aroused with indignation that they be- 
gan boldly to plunge into the maelstrom of civil war. 
On February 9, 1869, the entire district of Las Tunas 
revolted and cast its lot with the insurgents. Each new 
act of injustice emanating from the Spaniards was like 
removing the supports of a dam behind which had been 
restrained the waters of patriotism. The Spaniards had 
killed one Cuban patriot in cold blood; the cause of rev- 
olutions had gained thousands, each fired with en- 

Thus far General Quesada had been waging an almost 
exclusively irregular or guerrilla warfare. This was be- 
cause of the smallness of his army, the lack of arms and 
equipment, and the unfamiliarity of his men with mili- 
tary tactics. Indeed, such methods of warfare were in a 
large measure continued throughout the entire Ten Years' 
War. But by the time of which we now write he was 
able on some occasions and at some places to array his 
troops in orderly fashion and to conduct his campaign 
in much the same manner as the Spaniards themselves. 
Thus, he was able to carry on regular siege operations 
against Colonel Mena, and his garrison of three thou- 
sand Spaniards, at Puerto Principe. Colonel Prieto with 
several thousand Cubans busied himself with cutting 
the railroad lines which the Spanish authorities had con- 


structed for strategic purposes, and destroying communi- 
cations between Villa Clara and Cienfuegos. A strong 
Spanish force was sent against him, and a serious en- 
gagement occurred at San Cristobal, where the patriots 
were entirely successful. The Spanish troops retreated 
to Guanajay, a short distance from Havana, closely pur- 
sued by the patriots, and when forced to give battle, the 
Spaniards were once more put to rout, with heavy losses. 

Havana was now practically in a state of siege, with a 
patriot army in possession of Guanajay, and small bands 
constantly harassing the Spanish troops at different points 
in the vicinity of the city. The Spanish Captain-Gen- 
eral, Dulce, was still nursing the idea that some sort of 
an agreement might be reached, and at least a truce de- 
clared, and he therefore refused to officially declare the 
besieged condition of the city, and endeavored to placate 
the patriots by leniency toward the sympathizers in the 
city, and a conciliatory attitude toward the revolutionists. 
However, his efforts had little effect on the Cubans. 
Their forces pressed forward against Santiago de Cuba, 
and disaster for the Spanish garrison at that city was 
only averted by the timely arrival of Count Valmaseda 
with reinforcements. Las Tunas was still in the hands 
of the revolutionists, who were divided into small par- 
ties and were conducting a guerrilla warfare throughout 
practically the entire Island, attacking whenever it 
seemed to be to their advantage, and dispersing when the 
forces sent against them were sufficiently large to give the 
odds to the Government. Trinidad was practically seg- 
regated from the outside world so far as communications 
by land were concerned. The patriots had stopped the 
mail service, and had cut the telegraph wires. The city 
was in a turmoil of fear and apprehension, sending re- 


quests for aid whenever they could get word through, 
which was not frequently, since the patriots took a cynical 
delight in having so far turned the tables on their op- 
pressors, and in detaining and making prisoners the cour- 
iers who tried to reach the Spanish lines with news of 
Trinidad's predicament. 

The patriots did not confine their efforts to any part 
of the Island, although the major part of them were east 
of Havana, and only that small stretch of territory em- 
bracing the province of Pinar del Rio was comparatively 
free from trouble. The insurgents were insufficiently 
provisioned, and so they resorted to pillage. This was 
particularly true of the bands in the vicinity of Nuevitas, 
where attacks were constantly being made on the plan- 
tations, and the farmers lived in a state of alarm, never 
knowing when a patriot band might descend upon them 
demanding food for the present and for the future, and 
proceeding to take it by force, if necessary. Frequently 
those who were not in favor of the cause of liberty ex- 
tended a frightened hospitality, rather than to excite 
the wrath of their hungry visitors, and resorted to treach- 
ery to carry the news of the marauders to some nearby 
Spanish camp, only to have the rescuing forces chagrined 
to find, when they arrived, that the birds were not "in 
the hand," but had been fed, and had fled with their 
booty. Nuevitas was well garrisoned, and therefore the 
patriots confined their operations to a region sufficiently 
remote from the outskirts of the town, so that reprisals 
would be slow and difficult. 

The Cubans were strongly entrenched at San Miguel, 
where, on February 7, they were attacked by the Span- 
iards. When other means failed, the Spanish forces tried 
to "smoke out" the insurgents by burning the city, but 


while this dislodged them from the city itself, it failed 
to drive them from the vicinity, where they took up an 
advantageous position and held it against assault. 

Puerto Principe was surrounded; the aqueduct was 
cut, and food was scarce and growing scarcer. The in- 
habitants clamored for succor, when starvation seemed 
imminent. Their cries for aid became too insistent to 
be disregarded, and therefore a body of troops was dis- 
patched from Santiago de Cuba toward Jiguani, whither 
the main body of the Spanish troops under Count Val- 
maseda, had retired. The patriots were apprised of this 
manoeuvre, and the Spanish troops were constantly har- 
assed by bands of Cubans, and it was only after several 
severe engagements, and considerable losses, that they 
succeeded in joining Valmaseda at Jiguani. 

In the sort of warfare which they were now waging, the 
advantages were all with the revolutionists. They were 
thoroughly acquainted with the country, and knew well 
how to take advantage of its natural defenses, while the 
Spanish forces, especially those imported from Spain for 
the purpose of putting down the rebellion, lacked such 
knowledge, and in strategy were always at a disadvan- 
tage. The Cuban leaders were not only exceedingly 
clever in their manoeuvres, but they seemed to have a sense 
of humor, and to take a grim delight in fooling the Span- 
ish commanders, and luring them on a fool's errand. 
The patriots, whenever the tide of battle went against 
them, retreated to fastnesses in the interior, well known 
to them, and uncharted by the enemy, from whence they 
would sally forth, when opportunity presented, harass the 
Spaniards, and again retire to their lair, whither the 
enemy feared to follow them, lest they might fall into a 

The Cubans had a particularly annoying practice of 


spreading reports that a large revolutionary force had 
assembled in a certain place, and enticing the Spaniards 
to that location, when the latter would only discover, 
to their chagrin, that the report had been "grossly exag- 
gerated," and that in reality there was only a handful 
of men instead of the large number which they expected ; 
and to this would be added the further annoyance of 
having the little body of Cubans melt as if by magic in 
retreat to some position unknown to the Spanish or prac- 
tically impenetrable by them, with their lack of informa- 
tion as to its potentialities, and their fear that it might 
prove their undoing. If this were not sufficiently annoy- 
ing, the Cubans had a habit of sending out anonymous 
and misleading information, to the effect that an attack 
on the Cubans at a particular point would have felicitous 
results for the Spaniards, since it was believed that that 
position was inadequately defended, and upon acting on 
this information, the Spaniards would be baffled by dis- 
covering that the supposed forces, if indeed there had 
been any previously present, had long since departed, 
leaving the place deserted. Again and again the Span- 
iards were thus decoyed and beguiled, and yet they con- 
tinued to act on the misleading advices, because failure 
to do so might lose them a real victory, should one mes- 
sage out of the many really prove reliable. 

Thus were the patriots learning to match Spanish cun- 
ning with a new, peculiar and ironic brand of their own, 
and were turning the tables on the tormentors who had 
for so many years mistreated them and laughed at their 
protests. It will be recalled that Bayamo had been 
burned by the revolutionists, when it seemed apparent that 
their capital city was about to fall in to the hands of the 
Spaniards, or at least, when it seemed the part of pru- 
dence to surrender it. In spite of the fact that this meant 


that the inhabitants would be rendered homeless, so 
strong was the patriotic feeling in that city, that the de- 
struction was done with the consent of the populace. A 
thousand of these people now fell into the hands of the 
Spaniards, and on February 14 were taken to Manzan- 
illo. The next day long expected reinforcements arrived 
from Spain. They were small in number, it is true, only 
a thousand strong, but conditions in Spain made it diffi- 
cult for her to spare large numbers of troops, and this 
was most fortunate for the cause of freedom, for thus 
Spain was unable to send to Cuba a sufficient number 
of drilled soldiers to offset the advantage which the little 
Cuban army had in its acquaintance with the geography 
of the Island, and the physical possibilities which it af- 
forded for scattered and sporadic attacks in unexpected 

Captain-General Dulce, alarmed at the conditions 
which existed, and at the failure of the Spanish army to 
subdue the revolution, and undoubtedly spurred on by 
the Volunteers, who had no patience with his conciliatory 
methods, changed his policy, and issued a proclamation, 
thoroughly muzzling the press, to avoid the spreading of 
the news of the extent of the revolution and the success 
of the revolutionists, and thus endeavored to stem the in- 
flux of recruits into the Cuban Army. He also estab- 
lished a military court martial, which planned to deal 
summarily with the leaders of the revolution should any 
fall into their hands. Next he proclaimed the expira- 
tion of the amnesty previously granted, while he true 
to type softened this decree, probably as a bit of in- 
sidious strategy, by offering to pardon all insurgents 
who would surrender themselves, excluding the leaders, 
and those who had been convicted unrepresented at the 
trials, of course of the crimes of murder, arson and rob- 


bery. The underlying thought of this proclamation 
probably was that the rank and file of the insurgents 
might surrender and deliver their leaders into his hands 
for punishment. This was accompanied by a demand 
upon the citizens of Havana for the sum of $25,000,000 
to support the government, and to aid it in carrying on 
its campaign against the revolutionists. 

He only too well knew that the sympathy of the peo- 
ple of the United States, if not the secret sympathy of 
the government at Washington, was with the Cubans, and 
not only Dulce himself but indeed all the leaders of the 
Spanish cause lived in constant fear of private aid to the 
insurgents from the United States, if not of possible gov- 
ernmental intervention in their behalf. They well knew 
also that the Americans who had made their homes on 
the Island, and who were deeply interested in its com- 
mercial salvation, were all sympathizers in the cause of 
the revolution, and felt that only through freedom from 
Spanish rule and a resumption of peace could they hope 
to retrieve the fortunes which they had invested, and 
now apparently sunk, in Cuban business ventures. That 
these Americans, despite the censorship, were in com- 
munication with their friends in their own country Dulce 
did not doubt, and that they would urge the sending of 
relief to Cuba he felt certain. He therefore applied to 
the United States Consul at Havana for the names of 
all American residents of Cuba, that he might keep them 
under surveillance, check up their movements, and act, 
if necessary, to prevent them from either personally, or 
through their influence in the United States, lending any 
material aid to the revolutionists. 

In spite of the Captain-General's precautions, his fears 
were realized. Aid did reach the revolutionists from 
the United States, in the shape of guns and ammunition, 


accompanied by American sympathizers, who in some 
fashion ran the gauntlet of the Spanish navy in Cuban 
waters. The Cuban Army advanced against La Guan- 
aja, wrested it from the Spaniards, and proceeded to 
fortify it with American guns, manned by American gun- 
ners. The town was believed by both of the belligerents 
to be impervious to attack from the land, and the Span- 
ish commanders therefore dispatched a naval force to 
conquer it from the sea. The bombardment which en- 
sued dashed the hopes of the revolutionists, so far as the 
effectiveness of their fortifications were concerned, as 
against a naval attack. The Spanish shells wrought 
great damage, and when they had reduced the defenses, 
a landing was made and the town was retaken by as- 
sault. The Cubans were therefore forced to beat a hur- 
ried retreat to the surrounding country, and the Span- 
iards were left in complete control of the city. Now they 
had a decided advantage, for from this vantage-point 
they were able to send aid to Puerto Principe, and, on 
February 23, two battalions were hurried thither. Mean- 
while, General Lesca, who had been stationed at La 
Guanaja, set out to attack the Cuban Army at Colonia 
de Santo Domingo and in this expedition he was rein- 
forced by the troops under General Puello. The Span- 
ish army in this encounter greatly outnumbered the pa- 
triots but the latter fought with the courage of despera- 
tion; a wholesale slaughter ensued in which both sides 
suffered enormous losses; and when, worn out, the Cubans 
withdrew, the result might well be termed a draw, for 
neither side could justly claim victory. 

During the month of February, the revolutionists har- 
assed the Spaniards in the vicinity of Santa Cruz, but not 
with their usual success, the odds being largely in favor 
of the latter. On February 25, a band of revolutionists 


surprised the town of La Lujas, situated only a short dis- 
tance from Cienfuegos. Before opposition could be 
mustered, they took possession of the town, and with it 
the uniforms of the city guards, and all the arms, am- 
munition and horses which they could find, and they 
also burned the police archives, thus destroying any rec- 
ords at that place which might later be used against indi- 
vidual revolutionists, in the event of an ultimate Spanish 

But, with it all, neither army was making any par- 
ticular progress toward a decisive victory. The balance 
of advantage swung first one way and then the other. 
The Spanish found their well drilled troops unable to 
match themselves with any degree of effectiveness against 
the resourcefulness of the revolutionists, and their 
methods of warfare. The attempts at mediation had 
failed; indeed had been thwarted by the treacherous ac- 
tion within their own body by the murder which was 
staged by the Volunteers' faction. On the other hand, as 
yet Cuba had been able to secure but little aid from the 
one country on the sympathy of the citizens of which she 
might count. The United States had far from come up 
to expectations in the assistance she had thus far unof- 
ficially rendered. Perhaps this was because the authori- 
ties in that country had no desire to embroil themselves 
with Spain, and kept a close watch on the movements of 
suspected Cuban partisans. The Cubans were able to 
make life exceedingly uncomfortable for the Spanish 
forces, and for Spaniard sympathizers throughout the 
country, but with their present numbers and equipment 
they had little hope of gaining a decision of the hostili- 
ties in their favor. The best they could do was to keep 
the country in a state of uproar, gaining what little ad- 
vantage they could, and meanwhile the inhabitants were 


facing starvation, the destruction of their holdings, the 
burning of their buildings, and the devastation of a fruit- 
ful country. The constant operations of marauders, who 
took advantage of the Cuban method of warfare, to pil- 
lage and steal and lay in ruin various portions of the 
country, as well as the fear of attack from the guerrillas, 
were driving the farmers and their families to the protec- 
tion of the cities, and thus farms were standing idle and 
uncultivated, and there was bound to be an even greater 
food shortage. The Government was being aided by the 
church, and the neutrals, despairing of any change in 
conditions for the better, were, whenever the opportunity 
presented itself, emigrating from the Island to regions 
less tumultuous, where living conditions were not so un- 
certain and dangerous. 

The Government was finding conditions intolerable, 
and decided to make a strenuous effort to dislodge the 
revolutionists from their inland strongholds and thus to 
compel them to abandon their badgering methods, and 
to come forth into the open and give battle, well knowing 
that, if this could be accomplished, the odds would all 
be in favor of the Spaniards. Therefore, a special com- 
pany of Volunteers was assembled, with fresh reinforce- 
ments direct from Spain, and they were sent into the fast- 
nesses of the interior, in a strong endeavor to drive out 
the Cubans. Simultaneously General Letona conducted 
a vigorous campaign in relief of Cienfuegos, and General 
Puello organized small parties which were sent out on 
marauding expeditions. But the principal result of these 
efforts was to throw the Island into a still greater state of 
excitement, and to encourage robbers and bandits, who, 
taking advantage of the consequent uproar, seized the 
favorable opportunity for pillage. Thus their devasta- 
tion was added to the troubles of the already much tried 


farmers in Cuba. The country around Holguin and 
Gibara was in a state beyond description, and the life of 
every citizen, no matter what his sympathies, was in con- 
stant danger. 

Then a very serious battle took place between the forces 
under General Lesca, and an army of four thousand 
Cubans. The Spaniards were advancing from La 
Guana j a to the succor of Puerto Principe, when the two 
forces met. The Cubans were well entrenched on the 
Sierra de Cubitas. They were principally infantry, and 
they had the Spanish at a disadvantage. The engage- 
ment might have ended in an utter defeat for that por- 
tion of the Government Army, had it not been that they 
were well supplied with artillery, which did effective work 
against the Cubans, and therefore the Spaniards were able 
to escape, though with heavy losses. 

Early in the next month, March, 1869, the Cubans 
obtained from what source is not disclosed, but it may 
be that their American sympathizers were responsible 
large accessions of artillery, with a goodly supply of am- 
munition, which a small body of not over a hundred men, 
under Cisneros, were able to convey to Mayari, where 
General Quesada was stationed with seven thousand 
Cubans. When we consider that heretofore the revolu- 
tionists had been much more blessed with enthusiasm and 
belief in the ultimate triumph of their just cause than 
they had with the material means for accomplishing that 
end, it is not difficult to picture with what new hope and 
confidence this much needed assistance was received. 
Now more than ever they began to feel the certainty of 
final success, and to be imbued with a steadfast purpose to 
fight to the last ditch for the cause of freedom. 


AT the time of the beginning of the Cuban insurrection 
the United States was undergoing one of its quadrennial 
political campaigns, and March 4, 1869, saw General 
Ulysses S. Grant inducted to the Presidency the man 
who had led the nation to victory in the Civil War and 
had thus maintained the union of the United States of 
America ; a soldier of the highest character, and one whose 
sympathies were keenly enlisted in behalf of the Cuban 
revolution. When this news reached the Cuban leaders 
they at once addressed to him an appeal for recognition, 
which ran as follows : 

"To his Excellency, the President of the United States: 

"The people of Cuba, by their Grand Supreme Civil 
Junta, and through their General-in-Chief, Senor 
Cespedes, desire to submit to your Excellency, the follow- 
ing among other reasons, why your Excellency, as Presi- 
dent of the United States, should accord to them the 
belligerent rights and a recognition of their independence. 

"Because from the hearts of nineteen-twentieths of the 
inhabitants of the island go up prayers for the success of 
the armies of the republic; and from the sole and only 
want of arms and ammunition these patient people are 
kept under the tyrannical yoke of Spain. 

"Because the republic has armies numbering over 70,- 
000 men, actually in the field and doing duty. These 
men are organized and governed on the principles of civil- 
ized warfare. The prisoners whom they take and so 



far they have taken three times as many as their enemies 
have taken from them are treated in every respect as the 
prisoners of war are used and treated by the most civilized 
nations of the earth. In the hope of recognition by the 
United States, they have never yet in a single instance 
retaliated death for death, even in cases of the most pro- 
voking nature. 

"Because the Spanish authorities have almost invari- 
ably brutally murdered the soldiers of the armies of the 
republic who have surrendered to them, and have recently 
issued an official order requiring their military forces 
hereafter instantly to kill and murder any prisoner of 
the republic who surrenders. This is due, the order 
cheerfully tells us, to save trouble and vexation to the 
Spanish civil authorities. This is an outrage the civil- 
ized nations of the earth ought not to allow. 

"Because the United States is the nearest civilized na- 
tion to Cuba, whose political institutions strike a re- 
sponsive chord in the hearts of all Cubans. The commer- 
cial and financial interests of the two peoples being largely 
identical and reciprocal in their natures, Cuba earnestly 
appeals for the unquestionable right of recognition. 

"Because the arms and authority of the Republic of 
Cuba now extend over two-thirds of the entire geographi- 
cal area of the island, embracing a very great majority of 
the population in every part of the island. 

"Because she has a navy in course of construction which 
will excel in point of numbers and efficiency that hereto- 
fore maintained by the Spanish authorities in these 

"Because these facts plainly show to the world that 
this is not a movement of a few discontents, but the grand 
and sublime uprising of a people thirsty for liberty and 
determined with this last effort to secure to themselves and 


their posterity those unquestioned rights liberty of con- 
science and freedom of the individual. 

"Finally, because she is following but in the footsteps 
of Spain herself in endeavoring to banish tyrannical 
rulers, and in their stead place rulers of her own choice, 
the people of Cuba having a tenfold more absolute and 
potent right than Spain had, because Cuba's rulers are 
sent without her voice or consent by a foreign country, 
accompanied by and with swarms of officials to fill the 
various offices created only for their individual comfort, 
drawing their maintenance and support from the hard 
earnings of the natives of the soil. 

"Allow us to add, with the greatest diffidence and sensi- 
tiveness, that the difference between the rebellion in the 
United States and the present revolution in Cuba is simply 
that in the former a small minority rebelled against laws 
which they had a voice in making, and the privilege of 
repealing; while in the case of Cuba, we are resisting a 
foreign power in crushing us to the earth, as they have 
done for centuries, with no appeal but that of arms open 
to us, and appointing without knowledge, voice, advice or 
consent, tyrannical citizens of their own country to rule 
us and eat our substance. 

"Patria y Libertad ! 
"Approved by the Supreme Junta and ordered approved 

Commander in Chief Republican Forces in Cuba. 
Headquarters in the Field, March 1, 1869." 

President Grant was strongly inclined to grant this 
petition, and in this he was upheld by his most trusted 
friend and advisor, General Rawlins. In consequence, 
he prepared on August 19, 1869, a proclamation by which 
he recognized the insurgents as belligerents, the result of 
which would have been to legalize the shipment of arms 


to them. Unfortunately for the Cuban cause, though 
doubtless fortunately for the United States, there was at 
the head of the State Department of the United States a 
man of cooler judgment than General Grant, and one 
whose emotions of pity were not so easily moved. This 
was the Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish. Before 
Grant's proclamation could become effective, it was neces- 
sary for the Secretary of State to sign, seal and publish 
it, and this Mr. Fish refused to do. He felt that to do 
so would constitute a grave error in diplomacy, and one 
which might have far-reaching detrimental effects for the 
United States. It was his judgment that the President 
had been betrayed by his sympathies, and he felt it incum- 
bent upon himself, as chief of the Department of State, 
to restrain him from making a bad mistake. There was 
to be taken into consideration the fact that the United 
States, in the war so recently fought for the maintenance 
of the Union, had made vigorous protests against the 
recognition of the Confederacy by foreign powers, and 
Secretary Fish felt that the proclamation in favor of the 
Cuban revolutionary government would stultify the 
course of the United States government in that matter. 
Indeed, in sound judgment, it was impossible to deny that 
the Confederates of the South were more justly entitled 
to recognition, under all the circumstances of both cases, 
than were the Cuban revolutionists. Fish felt that the 
condition in Cuba, at that time, at any rate, did not merit 
the official recognition of the United States government, 
and he was not backward in conveying his conviction to 
General Grant. Then he simply pigeon-holed the proc- 
lamation and let it die a natural death in musty obscurity. 
Upon second thought, General Grant saw the soundness 
of Fish's conclusions, and not only did not register a pro- 
test, but took occasion some months later to thank Fish 



for his intervention, and the suppression of the procla- 

Meanwhile, reports of f1 i* cruelties of Snanish soldiers 
began to penetrate the ears of American citizens. It was 
reported, and pretty well authenticated, that disgusting 
atrocities were the order of the day, when the Spanish 
troops found in their path anyone, male or female, who 
was not in a position to resist them. There were stories 

of the raping of little children be- 
fore the eyes of their mothers, 
and of mothers in the presence of 
their children, of the crucifixion, 
and hanging by their thumbs of 
old men, and even of able bodied 
persons, who happened to fall de- 
fenseless into the hands of the 
Spaniards. Tales of barbarity 
to prisoners, even to the extent of 
roasting them alive, fired the rage 
of justice-loving American citizens, and again touched 
the kind heart of their President. To these reports 
were added others, less revolting, but touching the com- 
mercial sense of the nation. American property in 
Cuba was being destroyed, and American citizens were 
being molested and restrained from the peaceful pur- 
suit of their business. American commerce was im- 
peded and losses were suffered. It was recalled that 
Spain had been prompt to recognize the Confederacy as a 


A man of letters and of great wealth and social leadership, Miguel de 
Aldama was a native of Havana and one of the foremost citizens of that 
capital when the Ten Years' War began. He at once placed his fortune 
and himself at the disposal of his country, and was appointed by President 
Cespedes to be Agent of the Cuban Republic in New York. To that place 
he was reappointed by President Cisneros Betancourt. He served in that 
capacity throughout the war, to the great advantage of the patriot cause. 



belligerent power, and it seemed but the irony of justice, 
and a fair sort of retaliation, that now the United States 
should give recognition to those who were rebelling 
against Spain's misrule. But Fish was deaf to all pleas 
in behalf of the Cubans, and resolutely blocked all at- 
tempts to secure recognition for them. He argued and 
pleaded with the President with such eloquence that pres- 
ently he seemed to have him convinced that the cause of 
freedom in Cuba was not yet worthy of the recognition of 
the United States. In consequence, in his annual mes- 
sage, in December, 1869, President Grant, less than four 
months after his unpublished proclamation of recognition, 
declared that "the contest has at no time assumed the con- 
ditions which amount to a war in the sense of interna- 
tional war, or which would show the existence of a politi- 
cal organization of the insurgents sufficient to justify a 
recognition of belligerency." He added that "the prin- 
ciple is to be maintained, however, that this nation is its 
own judge when to accord the rights of belligerency either 
to a people struggling to free themselves from a govern- 
ment they believed to be oppressive, or to independent 
nations at war with each other." 

It is needless to say that this position was a great dis- 
appointment to the Cubans, and seemed to them utterly 
at variance with what they might have expected from a 
nation so lately torn by Civil War, and which had shown 
such keen individual sympathies with the cause of the 
freedom of Cuba. However, from that time on, the 
United States, officially, at least, showed the greatest 
patience a patience which seemed almost unbelievably 
enduring toward the hardships which the Spanish au- 
thorities put upon innocent Americans, and was inde- 
fatigably zealous in its efforts to prevent violations of 
neutrality on the part of sympathetic United States 


citizens. That there was some bitterness in the hearts of 
the Cuban leaders, who felt they had a right to expect 
the support of their sister republic, and a country which 
had against such odds won her own independence, it is 
easy to believe, and there were many who felt that this 
was a righteous indignation. 

But during the months in which the Secretary of 
State and the somewhat unwilling President of the United 
States were shaping this policy, the war in Cuba was con- 
tinuously waged. On March 7, 1869, a few days after 
the Cubans addressed their petition to the United States 
government, the Spanish attacked a strong Cuban posi- 
tion at Macaca, and were successful in ousting the revolu- 
tionists. This disheartening occurrence was followed by 
defeats for the Cubans, first at Mayari, where Spanish 
forces under General Valcosta were victorious over a 
small army of which General Cespedes was in command 
General Cespedes, however, effecting a withdrawal 
with safety to his own person and a part of his support- 
ers and again at Jiguani, where it was the Cubans who 
made the attack upon a Spanish force under General 
Valmaseda, only to meet defeat at the hands of the Span- 
iards, and to be forced to flee in disorder to their mountain 

Meanwhile reinforcements came from Spain; this time 
as before, not a large number, being only about twelve 
hundred men, but enough materially to aid the govern- 
mental army, and to strengthen its morale. The Cap- 
tain-General also endeavored to win the hearts of the 
timid by issuing a proclamation which declared important 
concessions in tax regulations. A fifty per cent, reduc- 
tion was made in the direct taxation on plantations, on 
cattle and on country real estate, as well as in those taxes 
only recently levied on merchants and tradesmen. As a 


crowning concession the taxes due for the last quarter of 
the year 1868-1869 were nullified. But it was appar- 
ently impossible for Spain to make concessions without 
accompanying them with demands of some sort to offset 
her seeming generosity. Therefore the Captain-General 
took occasion to levy some new duties: On muscovado 
sugar, if shipped under the flag of Spain, a tax of 16^ 
a hundred weight, while shipment under a foreign flag 
called for an additional 4^ duty; on boxed sugar shipped 
under the Spanish flag, a tax of 75^ a box, while if under 
a foreign flag, 12^ additional; on every hogshead of 
sugar shipped under the flag of Spain a tax of $1, and if 
under a foreign flag, 75^ additional; a tax on molasses of 
50^ a hogshead, and on rum of $1 for an equal quantity. 

It will be recalled that the Cuban patriots had by their 
proclamation of December 27, 1868, granted freedom to 
all slaves on the island. They now began a campaign to 
enforce this decree by removing, from all plantations of 
which their armies were able to take possession, the slaves 
for service in the Cuban army, and to make their libera- 
tion doubly sure, burning the buildings, and laying waste 
to the crops. In the districts around Sagua and Reme- 
dies there were nine thousand insurgents engaged in this 
work. This action it would be hard to excuse, if there 
were not taken into consideration the fact that the Cubans 
had endured such grievous wrongs at the hands of the 
Spaniards that they would have been much less than 
human if they had not had some desire to retaliate; and, 
after all, the retaliation which spoke most forcefully to the 
Spaniard was that which attacked his worldly goods and 
his pocketbook. 

But to offset these actions, the Spanish at the same time 
proved themselves victorious in several engagements. 
On March 18, at Alvarez, they defeated the Cuban forces; 


at about the same time, at Guaracabuya, they won another 
victory, with Cuban losses numbering one hundred and 
thirty-six killed outright; and two thousand Cubans, 
under Generals Morales and Villamil, were routed by the 
Spaniards at Potrerillo. In this last affair the patriots 
suffered severe losses ; three hundred wounded, two hun- 
dred and five killed, and twenty-one taken prisoners, to- 
gether with many horses killed or captured. They were 
also obliged to retreat in such haste that they had to 
abandon a considerable quantity of ammunition, which 
was seized by the enemy. It is only necessary to add 
that the Spanish lost but one officer, one private and one 
of their number taken prisoner, to demonstrate the dis- 
heartening nature of the encounter. But the Cubans 
were, as has been stated, drafting large quantities of 
slaves into their army, and this victory for the Spaniards 
was a signal proof that the slaves were not good material 
for soldiers. Besides this, the patriots who took part in 
this engagement suffered severely a lack of proper 

The tide seemed to be turning against the Cubans, and 
in the days that followed they were to face still further 
losses. The quality of the recruits which were being 
added to the patriot army did not increase its valor, skill 
or morale. They lacked guns, and those which they had 
were of antiquated pattern ; there was a woeful scarcity 
of larger arms and ammunition, and the troops were 
weary and poorly fed. Against that portion of the Cuban 
army stationed in the Villa Clara district the Spanish now 
began to concentrate a large army, pouring troops into 
that district until they were ten thousand strong. The 
Cubans were outnumbered, and lacked the weapons of 
warfare, they had been outmanoeuvred, and suffered tre- 
mendous losses, and yet another crushing defeat lay be- 


fore them, for on March 20, two thousand Cubans who 
were, as they fondly believed, strongly entrenched at 
Placitas, were put to flight by a small body of Spanish 
troops, highly skilled and well armed it is true, but num- 
bering only three hundred regulars and a small company 
of the much feared Volunteers. 

Emboldened by these successes, the Captain-General 
again shifted his position, and issued an order, to be made 
the excuse for an outrage against American shipping, 
which was severely to tax the friendliness of international 
relations. The Spanish government was ever haunted 
by the bugbear of American intervention, and doubtless 
the decree in question was issued as a preventive against 
such action, for the Spanish well knew that should such 
intervention once take place their cause would be irre- 
vocably lost, and with it their dominion over Cuba. The 
decree provided for the confiscation on the high seas of 
any and all vessels carrying either men, arms or ammuni- 
tion or all three, or indeed anything which might be con- 
strued as intended for material aid to the revolutionists, 
and further provided that "all persons captured on such 
vessels without regard to their number will be immedi- 
ately executed." Viewed in the calm light of history this 
decree would seem bound, if enforced, to be almost sui- 
cidal to the Spanish interests, being in opposition to law 
and justice, and in express violation of existing treaty 
obligations between Spain and the United States, and 
thus bound to bring a storm of protest from the United 
States government. 

As if this were not enough, Duke followed this action 
by another decree, promulgated on April 1, which pro- 
hibited the transfer of property, except by the direct con- 
sent of the government, and this prohibition included the 
sale of produce of all sorts, stocks, shares in mercantile 


projects, and real estate, together with many minor pro- 
visions ; while by a third decree, which shortly followed, 
he ordered the confiscation of the estates of American 
citizens who were suspected of sympathy or complicity 
with the revolutionists. Naturally, the United States 
government made a strong protest against such summary 
action, rightly declaring it to be in violation of the pro- 
visions of the treaty of 1795. 

The Cuban troops now began a more or less concen- 
trated attack on Trinidad, and to relieve the pressure at 
this point, the Spanish sent a large force toward Puerto 
Principe, hoping to weaken the Cuban army at the former 
place, because of the necessity of withdrawing men to 
combat the Spanish army at the latter. The Spanish 
government also sought to offset the damage and destruc- 
tion done by the insurgents to property of loyalists by 
issuing a decree proclaiming their intention to confiscate 
the property of all individuals who were absent from 
home without a governmental excuse which would of 
course include all landowners who were fighting in the 
Cuban army and providing for a detail of men to protect 
against the revolutionists every estate thus taken. 

On April 17 battle was again joined by the Cubans 
under Colonel Francisco Rubalcava and a Spanish force 
under the combined leadership of Generals Letona, Esca- 
lante and Lesca. The fighting which ensued taxed the 
Cuban resources to the utmost. All day long the battle 
raged, and when both sides were worn out with combat, 
the result was not decisive for either army, while one 
hundred and eighty Spanish troops and two hundred 
Cubans lay dead under the stars. 

For nearly two weeks thereafter there was a period of 
quiet and recuperation on the part of the Cubans, with the 
exception of a number of minor skirmishes, but on May 


3 the belligerents again met in battle at Las Minas, when 
twelve hundred Spaniards, under the command of General 
Lesca, and a large Cuban force under General Quesada, 
fought in the most violent of hand to hand conflicts. 
Frightful butchery ensued, for this time victory again 
returned to the Cuban standards, and the Spanish were 
forced to retreat in disorder, leaving behind them one 
hundred and sixty killed and three hundred wounded, 
while the Cuban losses were two hundred killed and an 
equal number wounded. 

To add to the rejoicing over this victory, small as it was, 
a few days previous the Cubans had had a practical 
demonstration of the sympathy of United States citizens 
for their cause, and of the ability of those citizens to 
evade the drastic provisions of the government against 
any display of that feeling. On May 1 there arrived at 
Mayari a body of three hundred Americans, under the 
leadership of General Thomas Jordan, a tried veteran of 
the Civil War, in which he had been an officer in the 
Confederate Army. He was an experienced soldier, who 
had had a fine military training and had been graduated 
from West Point. This in itself might have -been quite 
enough to put new heart into the Cuban leaders, but Gen- 
eral Jordan had brought with him not only reinforcements 
but arms, ammunition, clothing, medical supplies and 
food. A detailed list of this material included four thou- 
sand long range rifles, three hundred new pattern Reming- 
ton rifles, five hundred revolvers, twelve pieces of artillery 
of various sizes including twelve, twenty-four and thirty- 
two pound cannon, and a large supply of ammunition for 
these arms. And the relief did not stop here, for there 
were a thousand pairs of shoes, and clothing for one 
thousand persons, two printing-presses, medical supplies, 
and quantities of rice, tinned biscuits, salt meat, flour 


and salt. This meant food and arms for at least six 
thousand men, and there is no wonder that there seemed 
to be occasion for the wildest rejoicing on the part of those 
who were so manfully and against such great odds en- 
gaged in upholding the cause of freedom in Cuba. Now 
the patriots might oppose the Spanish with at least six 
thousand well equipped men, and they had also acquired 
in the person of General Jordan an officer whose aid in 
drilling raw recruits could not be overestimated. 

The Cubans did not get their booty to headquarters 
without some opposition from the Spaniards. That was 
hardly to be hoped, since their every movement was re- 
ported to the government by Spanish spies, and it would 
have been impossible for an expedition like the one in 
question to land without detection. But they were able 
to resist all attempts to wrest their supplies from them. 

Around Trinidad and Cienfuegos fighting was con- 
stant. Each day saw its skirmishes, and there were some 
violent engagements, all of which left matters pretty much 
as they had been so far as any victory of a decisive char- 
acter for either side was concerned. The Cubans were, 
however, able to disperse a body of Spanish troops which 
were advancing toward Las Tunas in the hope of reliev- 
ing the citizens of that place, which was also in a state of 
siege. The Spaniards were bearing a quantiy of provi- 
sions for the city, and in their flight these were abandoned 
and fell into the hands of the Cubans. 

When matters were succeeding in a manner more or less 
favorable to the Spanish cause, the Volunteers were quiet 
and inclined to discontinue temporarily their opposition 
to Duke, but when things took a turn for the worse he 
was always made the scapegoat. Hence the Volunteers 
were renewing their attacks on his policies, although for 
the time being he had been suffering one of his periodic 



reversions to severity. This time, the Volunteers were 
successful in obtaining the recall of Dulce as Captain- 
General. They simply drove him out by mob force, on 
June 4, and put into his place one Senor Espinar. This 
appointment was an arbitrary act, which the Spanish gov- 
ernment refused to confirm, and therefore Espinar's 
political life was cut short almost at its inception, and 
General Caballere de Rodas became Captain-General of 
the island. Now Rodas should have been a man en- 
tirely to the liking of the Volunteers. He had won for 
himself a reputation for cruelty toward the republican in- 
surgents in Spain while he wa5 stationed at Cadiz, which 
had caused him to be called "the butcher of Cadiz." He 
evidently felt it incumbent to live up to his title, for now 
the Spanish troops were incited to unspeakable cruelties. 

Promptly on taking office, Rodas began his career 
with the decree of July 7, 1869, which he fondly hoped 
would prevent further aid from reaching the revolution- 
ists from the United States or from any other country. 
The proclamation was as follows: 

"The custody and guardianship of the coasts of this 
island, of the keys adjacent, and the waters appertaining 
to the territory, being of the greatest importance, in 
order to suppress the insurgent bands that have hitherto 
maintained themselves by outside assistance, and deter- 
mined as I am to give a vigorous impulse to the pursuit 
of them, and with a view of settling the doubts entertained 
by our own cruisers as to the proper interpretation of the 
decree promulgated by this superior political government 
under dates of November 9, 1868, and February 18 and 
26 and March 24 last, I have decided to amplify and 
unite the aforesaid orders and substitute for them the 
following, which, by virtue of the authority vested in me 
by the nation, I decree: 


"Article I. All parts situated between Cayo Bahia 
de Cadiz and Point Maysi on the north side, and from 
Point Maysi to Cienfuegos on the south, with the ex- 
ception of Sagua La Grande, Caibarien, Nuevitas, Gi- 
bara, Baracoa, Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Man- 
zanillo, Santa Cruz, Zaza, Trinidad and Cienfuegos, 
where there are custom houses, will continue closed to 
the import and export trade, both by foreign and coast- 
ing vessels. Those who may attempt the entry of any 
closed ports, or to open communications with their coasts, 
will be pursued, and, on being captured, are to be tried 
as violators of the law. 

"Article II. Vessels carrying gunpowder, arms and 
warlike stores, will likewise be judged in accordance with 
the law. 

"Article III. The transportation of individuals in 
the service of the insurrection is by far more serious than 
that of contraband of war, and will be deemed an act 
of decided hostility, and the vessel and crew regarded as 
enemies to the state. 

"Article IV. Should the individuals referred to in the 
foregoing article come armed, this will be regarded, de 
facto, as proof of their intentions, and they will be re- 
garded as pirates, as will also be the case with the crew of 
the vessel. 

"Article V. In accordance with the law, vessels cap- 
tured under an unknown flag, whether armed or un- 
armed, will also be regarded as pirates. 

"Article VI. In free seas adjacent to those of this 
island, the cruisers will limit themselves to their treat- 
ment of denounced vessels, or those who render them- 
selves suspicious, to the rights given in the treaties be- 
tween Spain and the United States in 1795, Great Britain 
in 1835, and with other nations subsequently; and if, in 


the exercise of these rights, they should encounter any 
vessels recognized as enemies of the integrity of the ter- 
ritory, they will carry them into port for legal investiga- 
tion and judgment accordingly. 


Of course this action was incited and backed by the 
Volunteers, and met with their heartiest approval, but if 
either they or their mouthpiece, Rodas, had any real idea 
that such a decree would act as a deterrent against aid 
being sent to the Cubans, they misjudged the temper of 
the friends of the revolution in America. It simply made 
them aware of the necessity of increased secrecy and 
caution, but did not one whit curtail their enterprises. 

To reinforce his action, Rodas promptly issued an- 
other decree against the insurgents in the following con- 
temptuous terms : 

"The insurrection, in its impotency, being reduced to 
detached bands, perverted to the watchword of desola- 
tion and daily perpetrating crimes that have no prece- 
dent in civilized countries, personal security and the 
rights of justice, the foremost guarantees of person and 
property, imperiously demand that said insurrection be 
hastened to its end, and without consideration toward 
those who have placed themselves beyond the pale of 
the law. The culprit will not be deprived of the guar- 
antee of just impartiality in the evidence of his crime, 
but without delay admissible in normal periods, which 
would procrastinate or paralyze the verdict of the law 
and its inexorable fulfilment. 

"As the guardians of the national integrity, the pro- 
tection of the upright and pacific citizen, fulfilling the 
duties of my office, and in virtue of the authority con- 
ceded to me by the Government of the nation, I hereby 
decree : 


"Article I. The decrees promulgated by this superior 
political government under date of the 12th and 13th 
of February last shall be carried out with vigor. 

"Article II. The crimes of premeditated incendiar- 
ism, assassination and robbery, by armed force and con- 
traband, shall be tried by a council of war. 

"Article III. The courts of justice will continue in 
the exercise of their attributes, without prejudice, how- 
ever, of having submitted to me such cases as special cir- 
cumstances may require. 


Thus, in high-sounding phrases and treacherous hy- 
pocrisy, did the "butcher of Cadiz" proclaim himself the 
guardian of persons and property. If his pronounce- 
ments had not had too grim a significance, they might 
have filled the Cuban patriots with the spirit of ironical 
laughter, such a divergence was there between his char- 
acter and his past record, and the new role which he 
now announced himself as about to play. 

Naturally this action did not pass unnoticed by the 
United States government. On July 16, the Secretary 
of State, Hamilton Fish, informed the Spanish minister 
at Washington that Rodas's decree of July 7 interfered 
with the commerce of the United States in a manner 
which could only be tolerated in times of war; that the 
United States would maintain her right to carry contra- 
band in times of peace, and would permit no interfer- 
ence with her vessels on the high seas, except in time of 
war; that if Spain was in a state of war with Cuba it 
was incumbent on her to proclaim the fact; and further 
adding that the United States would regard any attempt 
to enforce Rodas's decree as a recognition by Spain of the 
existence of a state of war in Cuba, and would govern 
itself accordingly. Spain was in no position and had 


no desire to declare Cuba in a state of war. Such ac- 
tion would wrest from her certain advantages which in 
her present ambiguous position she was prepared to en- 
joy to the utmost. She at once recognized that Rodas's 
action was entirely too arbitrary, and might be produc- 
tive of a most embarrassing situation, and therefore act- 
ing under instructions from the Spanish government, he 
at once receded from his arrogant position and his de- 
cree was materially modified. 

American commerce with Cuba had been exceedingly 
profitable to those engaged in it, and, under the dis- 
turbed condition of affairs in the island, not only did it 
suffer, but the commercial interests of American residents 
in Cuba were badly jeopardized. General Grant still 
nursed his secret good will toward the cause of the rev- 
olutionists, although the advice of his Secretary of State 
had put a temporary restraint on it. It may be that this 
new indignity which Spain had sought to impose not only 
on the insurgents but also on American interests spurred 
him to action. However, that may be, when Daniel E. 
Sickles was appointed United States Minister to Spain, 
on June 29th, 1869, he was instructed at once on his ar- 
rival in Madrid to offer to the Spanish government the 
good offices of the United States in an effort to bring 
about an understanding and adjustment between the rev- 
olutionists and the governmental party and to effect a 
cessation of the hostilities which were rapidly ruining 
both the Creoles and the Spanish landowners alike. 
Sickles received the most careful instructions to proceed 
in a conciliatory fashion, and in no manner to imply any 
recognition by the United States of the belligerency of 
Cuba. To guide him in his work, terms were drafted as 
a basis for the negotiations and they embodied the fol- 
lowing points: 


1 . The acknowledgment by Spain of the independence 
of Cuba. 

2. Cuba to pay Spain an indemnity under conditions 
to be thereafter agreed upon. In case such sum could 
not immediately be paid in full, the unpaid portion to be 
secured by the pledge of export and import duties, in a 
manner to be agreed upon. 

3. The abolition of slavery in the island of Cuba. 

4. The declaration of an armistice pending negotia- 
tions for a final settlement. 

And, furthermore, Sickles was empowered, if neces- 
sary, to suggest that the United States would guarantee 
the payment by Cuba of the indemnity. 

Sickles took up the negotiations with the Spanish gov- 
ernment at Madrid in accordance with his instructions, 
and after much consideration the Spanish government 
agreed to accept the good offices of the United States 
government, provided it was not required to treat with 
the revolutionists on a basis of equality that would be 
too galling to the sensitive Spanish dignity but that it 
would be allowed to take the position of making conces- 
sions to a rebellious people, such concessions of course 
to be couched in legal terms, and carried out in accord- 
ance with constitutional forms and with all due solem- 
nity. Above all, the result of the negotiations was not 
to be regarded as a treaty between armed powers on an 
equal footing. In support of her position, Spain made 
the following demands, as constituting the basis of set- 
tlement to which she would agree : 

1. The revolutionists to lay down their arms and re- 
turn to their homes. 

2. Whereupon, Spain would grant a full and complete 

3. The question of the independence of Cuba to be 


submitted to vote by their own vote whether they desired 
independence or not. 

4. Provided a majority vote was cast for independence 
Spain would grant it, the Cortes consenting, upon the 
payment of a satisfactory sum by Cuba, or the partial 
payment and guarantee by the United States of the re- 

When Sickles submitted the result of his efforts to the 
government of his own country, that government, well 
knowing that the Cubans would never consent to the 
first two stipulations laid down by Spain, promptly re- 
jected them. Sickles again took up the matter with the 
Spanish government, but they stood firm, and since there 
seemed no hope of an agreement on any terms which 
would be acceptable to the revolutionists, the matter was 
finally dropped. 

Meanwhile Spain had been sending considerable rein- 
forcements to Cuba, and commenced an active campaign 
against the force under the command of the American 
General Jordan. These were probably the best equipped 
and best trained troops which the Cuban army had at its 
command, and they were well fitted to administer a re- 
buff to the Spaniards, which they did. The attacks of 
the Spaniards were all unsuccessful, and the Cubans were 
elated by the certainty that in bravery and resources they 
were more than a match for the Spanish army, and that, 
when they were properly equipped they seemed to have 
the advantage. In these different battles none of them 
of very large scope the Spanish lost four hundred killed, 
wounded and taken prisoners. Meanwhile the Cubans 
attacked the Spanish forces near Baja, a small town on 
the bay in the vicinity of Nuevitas, and defeated three 
hundred marines under General Puello, killing eighty 
of the enemy. 


But the rainy season was approaching and soon caused 
a halt in hostilities, while both armies were strengthening 
their positions looking forward to the time when weather 
would permit a resumption of the warfare. If the Span- 
ish were obtaining reinforcements, the Cubans also were, 
in spite of the Spanish blockade and the decrees of the 
Captain-General, as well as the activities of the United 
States officials, constantly receiving aid from the United 
States. This mainly took the form of small expeditions 
from the southern states. However, at the close of July 
there arrived a company of two hundred and seventy- 
five recruits from the states of Ohio, Indiana and Ken- 
tucky, bringing with them large stores of food, clothing, 
arms and ammunitions. So it appeared that faith in 
the righteousness of the Cuban cause was not confined 
to what were known as the southern states. 

These men were placed under the direct command of 
General Quesada, and thus reinforced he decided to make 
an effort to subdue and capture the besieged Las Tunas. 
He set out to go thither with twelve hundred men. All 
night long the fight raged on the outskirts of the town, 
and just as the morning was breaking the Cubans made 
a triumphal entry. By two o'clock the next afternoon 
the town was completely under their control. When 
news of this victory reached the Spanish headquarters, a 
large force was immediately dispatched to dislodge the 
Cubans, and spies reporting to General Quesada that the 
Spanish troops sent against him not only largely out- 
numbered his own, but also were bringing large quanti- 
ties of heavy artillery with them, he decided that to 
hold the town would not be of sufficient importance 
if indeed he could do so against such odds to risk an 
engagement. He, therefore, again retired. He had been 
welcomed as a deliverer by the inhabitants of Las Tunas, 


for they had suffered gross indignities under Spanish 
occupation, and now many of them enlisted in the Cuban 
army, and accompanied General Quesada on his retreat. 

It may have been that the attempted intervention of 
the United States government at Madrid led the Spanish 
government to believe that the time had again arrived 
to temporize; at any rate, several concessions were made 
in an attempt to pacify the insurgents, but without any 
perceptible effect. 

Not every attempt to bring aid from the United States 
to Cuba was productive of results, and during the sum- 
mer there had been a number of efforts which were abor- 
tive, or which failed of execution. But just as hope of 
a successful relief expedition was dying in the hearts of 
the Cubans, a party of six hundred men with a quantity 
of rifles and a large amount of ammunition arrived from 
that stronghold of Cuban sympathizers, New Orleans. 
Meanwhile General Jordan communicated a request for 
aid to his compatriots who composed the Cuban Junta in 
the City of New York. He reported that the Cuban 
army was composed of twenty six thousand eight hun- 
dred men, besides whom there were at least forty thou- 
sand freed slaves, who were armed merely with machetes. 
He requested that seventy five thousand stands of arms 
be in some manner dispatched to the Cubans, and ex- 
pressed the opinion that if this could be accomplished, 
in ninety days the war would be determined in favor of 
the patriots. 

Small bodies of Cubans were still carrying on guer- 
rilla warfare wherever it seemed most effective, and the 
plantations belonging to Spanish sympathizers were suf- 
fering in consequence. The idea of this action was not 
wanton destruction. The Cubans argued that it was 
from such sources as the rich Spanish planters that 


Spain, by taxation, obtained revenues which were en- 
abling her to continue the war, and thus their own coun- 
try was being used to supply funds for her own destruc- 
tion; and therefore when they destroyed Spanish hold- 
ings, they were not only wreaking vengeance on their 
tormentors, but they were also reducing the resources 
which made the prosecution of the war possible. To 
offset these actions, the Spanish commanders were coun- 
tenancing the most scandalous conditions, and allowing 
most wholesale torture and butchery of such luckless 
patriots as fell into their hands, in which they could 
have had no motive except to terrorize the Cubans, and to 
enjoy that peculiar pleasure which they seemed to take 
in cruelty and murder. However, in the month of No- 
vember alone, the patriots were able to burn the build- 
ings on and destroy the productiveness of over a hun- 
dred and fifty sugar plantations, which the Spanish gov- 
ernment had confiscated under the order which Duke had 
promulgated. These were plantations which belonged 
to soldiers in the Cuban army, and which had been seized 
by the Spaniards in the absence of their owners, and 
the revenues of which had been flowing into the Spanish 

This work of destruction had the approval of Gen- 
eral Cespedes, for he felt that it was necessary to cut off 
every possible source of revenue for Spain from the 
island, and so, in December, he issued a proclamation 
calling on all loyal patriots to see that it was made im- 
possible for Spain to collect revenue from sugar and 
tobacco plantations on the island, when by any action of 
patriots this could be avoided. 

The revolutionists had been encouraged, not only by 
their friends in the United States, but also by the sym- 
pathetic expressions of former Spanish colonies in South 


America, who were now enjoying their own freedom. As 
early as May 15, 1869, the President of the Republic of 
Peru expressed to General Cespedes his good wishes, in 
a letter couched in the following terms : 

"The President of Peru sympathizes deeply with the 
noble cause of which your Excellency constitutes himself 
the worthy champion, and he will do his utmost to mark 
the interest that island, so worthy of taking its place with 
the civilized nations of the world, inspires him with. 
The Peruvian Government recognizes as belligerents the 
party which is fighting for the independence of Cuba, 
and will strive its utmost to secure their recognition as 
such by other nations ; and likewise that the war should 
be properly regulated in conformity with international 
usages and laws." 

This action on the part of Peru was followed by rec- 
ognition of the revolutionists on the part of other South 
American states of Spanish origin. Action was taken 
on this subject in Colombia, in June, 1870, when a bill 
was introduced into the House of Representatives pro- 
posing that all the Spanish-American republics form a 
combination for the active promotion of aid to Cuba, ma- 
terial and political, in her struggle for independence. 
This bill was reported out of Committee, with the fol- 
lowing comments : 

"1. The cause for which Cuban patriots fight is the 
same for which Colombia fought incessantly from 1810 
to 1824. 

"2. The interests of self-preservation, and our duty as 
a civilized and Christian nation, justify in the most com- 
plete manner Colombian intervention. 

"3. The aggressions of monarchial Europe against 
the liberty and independence of America always have 
had and will have for a base Spanish dominion in Cuba. 


"4. The policy of the United States cannot serve as a 
guide to Colombia on this occasion. 

" 5. The resources we may need for this war are not 
beyond our means. 

"6. The time has arrived when Colombia should as- 
sume in the politics of South America the position to 
which she is called by her topographical situation, her 
historical traditions, her population, and her political 

In spite of this favorable report, and the fact that the 
bill passed the House, the Senate rejected it. 

Thus the struggle went on, the patriots fighting almost 
with the courage of desperation, gaining a little here, 
and losing there, but always holding before them the 
justice of their cause, and resolutely refusing to admit 
the possibility of failure. 


WITH the opening of the year 1870, the revolutionists 
had in the field forty thousand well disciplined, and for 
the time being at least well armed troops, who were un- 
der the command of efficient officers, and a competent 
military organization. The movements of the troops 
were, so far as possible, directed according to a con- 
certed plan, and their distribution through the island 
was governed in the same manner. 

Spain had also increased her regular army, and her 
navy had been greatly augmented, for she now had in 
Cuban waters, in addition to the men-of-war which had 
at the beginning of the war been stationed there, the 
following : 

2 iron-clad vessels 48 guns 

2 1st class wooden steamers. . 85 guns 

6 2nd class wooden steamers. . 69 guns 

1 3rd class wooden steamer. . 2 guns 

4 steam schooners 11 guns 

6 gunboats 6 guns 

13 armed merchantmen 41 guns 

2 sailing gunboats 2 guns 

1 transport 4 guns 

1 schoolship 6 guns 

About the middle of April, 1870, an occurrence hap- 
pened of which the Spanish made great capital, spread- 
ing the tidings throughout the world. Connected with 
it is one of the illustrious names in Cuban history a 

name which has been borne by some of the most famous 



Cuban patriots. However, it has been said that there is 
no family which has not its black sheep. 

Augustin Arango gave his life for his country, when 
he was murdered by the Spaniards, while on the way 
to the conference at Puerto Principe, under safe con- 
duct from the Spanish leaders. Two other members of 
the Arango family were prominent in the support of the 
revolution. It remained for Napoleon Arango to dis- 
grace his family. He had taken an active part in the 
resolution upon its inception, but had not been accorded 
a high place in the revolutionary government, or the rank 
which his ambition craved in the army, because his loy- 
alty had been suspected. Angry and disgruntled, he 
made an attempt to betray his friends to the Spanish 
troops. His action was, however, discovered in time, 
and he was arrested, tried, found guilty and sentenced 
to death. The high standing of the Arango family, and 
the fact that his brother had given his life for the cause 
of liberty, were urged as reasons for commuting his 
sentence, and he was finally taken from confinement, and 
driven outside the Cuban lines, with orders never to 
return under penalty of having the death sentence exe- 
cuted. He quickly made his way to the Spanish army. 

All this happened in 1869, and for almost a year 
Arango had been living under Spanish protection. Sud- 
denly, in April, 1870, the Spanish authorities caused the 
report to be circulated that Arango had surrendered him- 
self to them, bringing with him a large force of Cubans, 
who had declared their allegiance to Spain, and the Span- 
ish Government in Cuba cited this as an indication of the 
weakness of the patriots, and as an augury of their ap- 
proaching dissolution and of the ultimate triumph of 
Spain. As a matter of fact, Arango had always been a 


trouble maker and a potential traitor; he had been char- 
acterized by one Cuban officer as a "poor, despised, 
worthless creature," and it is needless to say that the 
whole story was false from beginning to end. However, 
Arango issued a grandiloquent statement, in which he 
explained his supposed action, and urged the Cuban rev- 
olutionists to lay down their arms and follow his ex- 
ample. His open letter to Cuban patriots is to be re- 
called as one of the curiosities of treason. It ran as 
follows : 


"When Carlos Manuel de Cespedes thought of rais- 
ing the cry of Independence and expected the other cities 
of the Island to second him, he received as a reply, from 
the jurisdiction of Holguin and Puerto Principe, that 
they would not support him; and the Cinco Villas and 
other towns maintained an attitude of expectancy. Not- 
withstanding this, Cespedes said that he had no need 
of the reminder and that he would pronounce on the 14th 
of October as he did in fact but somewhat in advance of 
that date. Having so many reasons, as I have, to know 
the country as well as the character and tendencies of its 
inhabitants; and also what Spain would do and what 
was to be expected of the people on the Island ; knowing 
moreover the policy of the United States and the effects 
as well as the consequences that must follow a revolution 
especially when it was an extemporaneous outburst; and 
being convinced besides that owing to the heterogeneous 
nature of our population and to the little enlightenment 
of the masses, nothing but extermination could be ex- 
pected for Cuba, I took part in framing the reply given 
to Cespedes by Puerto Principe, stating that since he took 
pains to carry out so wicked an idea, he should not be 


seconded by us; and we made him responsible before pos- 
terity for the evils which he was about to bring on Cuba. 

"Cespedes and his inexperienced fellow-believers pro- 
claimed Independence at Yara without any supply of 
arms or munitions of war, without provisions, clothing, 
etc., etc., wtih which to support their movement. Ig- 
norant of what revolution is, they bunched forth just 
like children who heedlessly play with a wild beast, in 
entire ignorance of its nature. The first movement of 
enthusiasm on the part of the people, and of surprise 
on the part of the Government gave them the victory 
at Bayamo; and they at once thought that the Independ- 
ence of Cuba was already secured. This was a fatal 
error, a sad illusion, which blunted the common sense and 
gave loose rein to their passions. It was the fatal error 
of those men who had not sufficient strength of will to be 
able to wait. Ah! how fatal it is not to know when to 

"The Camagueyans were aroused at the enthusiastic 
shout for liberty, and they wished to help their brethren 
of Bayamo, driven on by a sentiment of fraternity and 
by their yet stronger love of liberty; that noble aspira- 
tion which God has imbued in the hearts of all men. I 
shared not in these desires, although I did really in their 
sentiments, but I was restrained by experience and by 
my knowledge of the situation. Anxious to be of serv- 
ice to my country, I offered to go to Bayamo as a rep- 
resentative from Puerto Principe, which I did. 

"From my first steps into the Eastern Department, I 
was convinced of the error into which the people had 
fallen, and the impossibility of keeping up so unequal a 
contest. Moreover after studying the revolution and 
sounding the feelings of the people, I discovered that 
they did not desire the movement but had been dragged 


into it ; without noticing in the beginning, owing to their 
blind precipitation, that they were not prepared to re- 
ceive a successful issue. 

"In some private circles I spoke of the propriety of 
changing the cry for Independence into an acceptation of 
the Cadiz programme; an idea which was well received 
and seemed so to change the course of affairs, that I saw 
a great risk, being threatened by the few who persisted in 
their original intention. I spoke to Cespedes and made 
known to him the untimeliness of the revolution; that if 
he really desired the welfare of Cuba, this latter con- 
sisted in withdrawing from a war that must be ruinous 
and unsuccessful in the end; that the liberties offered in 
the Cadiz programme were perhaps even more than 
would suit Cuba, etc., etc. Cespedefe, convinced by my 
reasoning agreed to my proposals; and if he then failed 
to follow my advice it was, to use his own words, because 
he feared that he would not be obeyed by those who had 
already proclaimed for Independence. They did not un- 
derstand the true policy that should be followed in the 
guidance of returns. They began badly and will end 

"On my return to Puerto Principe I found the country 
in insurrection, dragged on by two or three men who were 
led wrong by their ill-digested ideas of liberty or by their 
own private interest, and whose only wish was revolution 
in whatever way it could be brought about. I grieved at 
this mistake, but without losing heart, and always firm 
in advancing the prosperity of Cuba, I called a meeting 
which was held at Clavellinas. There I made known the 
result of my observations during my trip to Bayamo; 
and after some discussions, the force of my arguments 
prevailed. With one exception all agreed that we should 
adhere to the Cadiz programme. I was afterwards ap- 


pointed General-in-Chief with especial charge (thus it 
was set forth in the record) that I should have an inter- 
view with General Valmaseda for the purpose noted 

"In a conversation with that gentleman he manifested 
the best of intentions in favor of a pacification, but stated 
that he wa*s not empowered by his government to make 
any concession. He offered nevertheless to grant effec- 
tual ones, so soon as he could obtain the power. He 
called my attention to this; that whatever the liberties 
which should be granted to Cuba, the rights of the Cubans 
would have to be regarded as attacked if they did not 
send representatives to have a hand in everything that 
might be done in regard to this country. 

"I knew too well the reasons of General Valmaseda, 
but fearing that my fellow countrymen might not seize 
the force of his reasoning, we agreed upon a truce for 
four days which I requested in order to call another meet- 
ing more numerous and one which should decide the mat- 
ter. This meeting took place at Las Minas; and there as 
well as at Clavellinas, the majority was not for a con- 
tinuation of the war but for accepting the Cadiz pro- 
gramme. Had a vote been taken, it is certain that this 
choice would have carried; but I refrained from calling 
a vote in order to be consistent with the Caunao district 
which had made known through its delegate, Don Carlos 
L. Mola, Junior, that it wished to have no voting; be- 
cause in case thereof they would be bound to its result; 
and that district was only in favor of accepting whatever 
the government chose to grant them. 

"An immense majority was in favor of the programme, 
and, nevertheless, the war was kept up because those bent 
upon it spared no means nor suggestion to entice away 
those in favor of the Cadiz programme. That is to say 


that, taking advantage of family ties, of friendships, and 
of an ill comprehended association, etc., etc., they dragged 
along with them the unwary and the inexperienced, who 
were reluctant enough and who now know their error, as 
I never wished to force upon anyone (not even on my 
own brothers) my own ideas, nor to make use of any 
other means than persuasion, in accordance with reason. 
I confined myself to simply resigning the rank that had 
been conferred on me and withdrew to my plantation. 
From that time forward, I busied myself merely with 
enlightening the people, showing them the mistakes into 
which they were led by those who were interested in the 
continuance of the war. 

"I have not sought to impose my notions upon any- 
one, but I do not any the more accept those of others 
when my reason and my conscience reject them. And I 
believe there is no right, nor law, nor reason to support 
fhose who willingly, or through force, wish to force 
upon others their own ideas however good or holy these 
may be. 

"Those who are at the head of the Cuban government 
and guide the revolution believe their triumph possible; 
they think their ideas are correct and their way a good 
one. Very well; but not believing as they do, I move 
aside from that government, whose pressure and arbi- 
trariness are such, that it will not even admit neutrality 
in others. I will not wage war against you; I will not 
take up arms against you except in personal defence ; but 
I separate from men who wish to impose their own no- 
tions on others through force. You are free to think 
and act as you like, and I reserve to myself the same right 
and act in accordance therewith. 

"But there is more. In the position where, unfortu- 
nately and much against my will, events have placed me, 


I occupy a place as a public man, as a politician in 
Cuban politics; and I should not remain inactive while 
I behold the destruction of Cuba and look out merely 
for my personal safety under the protection of the Span- 
ish government. No, Gentlemen, I would then be a bad 
patriot, and I love my country before liberty or rather 
I do not understand the former principle as divorced 
from the latter. Both are intimately bound together; 
and in order that the first be worthy, honorable and bene- 
ficial to humanity it cannot be separated from the second. 

"I am a Cuban, the same as yourselves, and I have 
consequently the same right to busy myself with the wel- 
fare of my country. Let everyone have his method ; you 
pretend that you obey the popular will; that you are at 
the head of government, because the will of the people 
and popular choice; that you act in uniformity with 
ideas and sentiments of the Cubans ; and finally that you 
are provoking the welfare and prosperity of Cuba. / 
shall prove entirely the contrary. 

"The favorable reception with which my ideas were 
met at Bayamo, the meeting at Clavellinas, that at Las 
Minas, and the desire almost unanimous to accept the 
concessions offered by General Duke, prove sufficiently 
that the country wanted peace, nevertheless you maintain 
war. Hence, popular suffrage in the country is but a 

"Let us see how the actual government was formed. 
On the one side, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes who, for 
himself and in his own name set himself up as the dic- 
tator of Cuba, appointed a certain number of deputies 
for the cast, at the famous meeting in Guaimaro. That 
is a fine representation of popular will and an admirable 
republic, when the deputies are not elected by the people ! 
On the other hand, the assembly at Puerto Principe was 


illegally constituted and entirely unauthorized; and, 
finally, some deputies from the Cinco Villas the only 
ones which perhaps held a legitimate representation 
met together and formed the actual government, which 
they should have called the Venetian rather than a Cuban 
Republic. They formed the government by sharing with 
each other the offices, and they propose thus to shape the 
destiny of Cuba. A handful of men thus representing 
over a million souls, who have had no share in their 
nomination, does not assuredly constitute popular elec- 

"The Cubans want the liberty of assemblage, freedom 
of speech, respect of property, personal security, the lib- 
erty to leave the territory of the Republic, which is a 
right secured in all nations of the world to every indi- 
vidual, they want, in fine, to be governed as the majority 
choose, and not according to the will of a few. But 
nothing of all this is done. Whoever puts forth ideas 
contrary to those of the government or any of its func- 
tionaries, is threatened with four shots, property is a prey 
to the first comer, who, with arms in hand can take pos- 
session of what suits him; the lives of men are sported 
with, just as children sport with flies; and in fine who- 
ever attempts to abandon the government, even without 
intruding to wage war on it, is persecuted to death. 
Hence the conduct of said government is not in con- 
formity with the ideas and sentiments of the country. 

"If to all this be added the arsons and the complete 
destruction of Cuban wealth, the demolition of towns and 
what must follow in the end, can there be one sensible 
man who will maintain that all this constitutes the pros- 
perity and well-being of Cuba? Assuredly not. 

"You employ force, deceit, terror to drag the masses 
on and carry out whatever you judge beneficial for the 


cause of Cuba; I use only reason, truth and the irrepres- 
sible logic of facts and of experience, not the material 
argument of arms. 

"Well, then, knowing as I do that the country does not 
want war, and that it continues therein under the pres- 
sure of the Cuban government in the one hand and on 
the others out of fear of the punishment which the Span- 
ish government might inflict, knowing as I do that noth- 

ing is to be expected from the 
JJf Hj\ United States as it was attempted 
to make the people believe ; know- 
ing that since the beginning of 
the Insurrection, 40,000 men have 
come from Spain, and that many 
more will come a fact generally 
unknown in this country; aware, 
as I am, that over 100,000 men 


are well watched, and that the New York Junta lacks re- 
sources to send material aid to the Insurrection; aware 
moreover that the Cuba, the Lillian, the expedition of 
Goicouria and others are lost resources; that the Insur- 
rection is almost stifled in the East and in the Cinco Vil- 
las; that in the Vuelta-Abajo far from there being any 
secessionists, it is the country people themselves who 
pursue the insurgents, as has taken place in Guines; 
knowing as I do that the families to be met with in the 
fields are anxious to return to the towns; and aware of 
the importance attached to my conduct, both in the 
Island and abroad, I have made a new sacrifice for my 


General Domingo Goicouria, one of the pioneers of Cuban independence 
was born in 1804, and was an active participant in the Lopez expeditions and 
other uprisings. He was one of the leaders in the beginning of the Ten 
Years' War, but was captured by the Spaniards, at Cayo Guajaba, and was 
put to death at Havana on May 14, 1870. 


country. I have come forward with my family to prove 
by my example that I do not believe in the triumph of 
the Insurrection, nor do I fear the Spanish government; 
which animated as it is with the best of wishes is ready 
to draw a veil over the past, provided the country can 
be pacified and many tears, much blood and loss of prop- 
erty be spared. 

"It is a sacrifice indeed, Gentlemen, for I expose my 
name to the evil-tongued and make it the butt of false 

"I believe firmly that the happiness of Cuba and the 
welfare of humanity consists in the pacification of this 
beautiful country, and maintain this in the presence of 
the whole universe with my hand on my conscience and 
head erect as becomes a man of honor. 

"There is no man who is infallible, and perhaps my 
opinions and determination may be wrong; but I can at 
least affirm that I am acting in good faith, having for 
sole object in view the welfare of my country and of hu- 
manity and making total abstraction of my own person- 
ality, as well as of my own interests. 

"I am not a time server but a man of fixed principles; 
I am convinced of my opinions and feel the energy of 
my convictions. I now maintain what I have main- 
tained since the beginning of the revolution, even pre- 
vious thereto. My actual conduct is not therefore an 
apostasy but the energetic continuance in my opinions 
and principles. These I do not mean to impose on any 
one; merely make them known, inviting all to examine 
them in every detail, and I am sure that they will follow 
my example. But if blind to reason and unmindful of 
the events which for a year and a half have supported my 
predictions, they persist in a struggle which I believe 
hopeless, let them keep on, but without extending the 


horrors of war to families. Let the women and children 
whom government wishes to foster and daily supports 
with rations of bread, rice, butter, etc., come to the city; 
and let you keep on, if unfortunately you refuse to listen 
to the voice of reason and patriotism, in that senseless 
contest, which you must later repent having ever begun. 

' 'Reflect a moment; examine thoroughly, and not 
merely the appearances of the situation, and you will see 
that the existing strife is an unqualifiable mistake, and 
its continuation an unparalleled blindness. . . . What 
has become of the intelligence of Cubans? Where are 
the energy and the influence of men of intelligence and 
character ? 

". . . Cubans! You have seen that I have always 
been a protector to the people; that I have tried to en- 
lighten them, that they might have a participation in 
everything and know what they were doing, so as to 
follow their own ideas and not be carried off by others; 
but what has been the result? I was treacherously and 
illegally arrested, at the request of those who wish to rule 
the masses; I was sentenced to death, and over twenty 
times they have tried to put an end to my life. . . . Nat- 
ural sense shows clearly that when an attempt is made 
to annihilate him who speaks the truth, who enlightens 
and never deceives; who instead of speculating on his 
fellow countrymen and growing rich on the revolution 
makes use of his own means to succor the masses (let all 
Yaguajey speak) ; who never makes use of any pressure 
to enforce his ideas, who allows himself to be ruined 
from the neglect of his own interests, in order to give 
himself up solely to the welfare of his country; does it 
not show clearly, I say, that the attempt is made only 
because his adversaries have different pretensions and 
a different line of conduct from his? Now what is this 


difference? It consists in violence, deceit, the use of 
force, spoliation of the neighbor for his own benefit; it is 
despotism, based on the ignorance in which the people 
are kept. I have sought to have the country governed 
as it is its wish to be governed, in accordance with uni- 
versal suffrage; your government, on the contrary, pre- 
tend to rule it as they see fit. They state that they want 
liberty for the people whilst the most cruel despotism 
weighs upon you. . . . 

"The people are told that from the United States will 
come reinforcement and resources; that there are ele- 
ments to spare for the continuation of the war; that the 
Spanish soldier carries a cartridge-box and wears shoes 
of rawhide and is short of provisions; that there are no 
troops nor will any come from Spain; that the taxes are 
ruining the country, etc., etc. Well, I ... tell you all 
this is illusion, deceit, and a fatal chimera. 

"The government of the United States does not busy 
itself nor can it with the Cuban Insurrection. Look at 
Article 16 of the Treaty of 1797 and you will learn that 
they cannot favor the Cubans in the least efficacious way 
without failing in national dignity and exposing them- 
selves to a coalition against themselves. That govern- 
ment is too polished and financially shrewd to compro- 
mise itself in a war that would entail serious mischief 
upon its commerce ; and moreover there are other motives 
that would be too lengthy to detail. . . . 

"I have just read a manifesto of Manuel Quesada, 
published in New York under date of the 8th inst., in 
which he sets astray entirely the opinion that should be 
formed of the state of insurrection. I shall tear off the 
bandage. He states that the Cuban army numbers 61,- 
000; that there are here five powder factories; that fire- 
arms are manufactured here as well as swords and bay- 


onets; that there are thirteen public schools and thirteen 
churches ; that three thousand shoes are made every week 
and four thousand hides tanned every month; that the 
soldier receives for daily ration, beef, sugar, coffee, veg- 
etables and rice at his discretion, tobacco, etc. ; that there 
are many sugar mills grinding for the state ; that several 
warehouses are filled with tobacco, sugar, hides, etc., to 
the value of many millions of dollars, that the territory 
which is occupied by the Cubans in insurrection is in a 
cultivated and producing condition, such as has never 
before been witnessed, even during years of the greatest 
abundance; that thousands of percussion caps are daily 
made; that he (Quesada) left here under commission of 
importance after having temporarily put Jordan in com- 
mand under instructions, as well as the other leaders, etc., 
etc., to an endless length. I address you, fellow coun- 
trymen, who are there on the ground of this insurrection, 
whence I have lately come. You all, as well as myself, 
know that all these things are false, entirely false. 

"Quesada states that he has gone to seek means and 
bring arms, with which to end the insurrection, but for 
what does he need them if he has 61,000 men? Is it pos- 
sible that it should not occur to the inhabitants of New 
York to ask him what need he has of more means when 
he has so many thousand men? When he has over 20,- 
000 arms and can make more as well as powder and 
caps? Why has not that soldier of fourteen years' cam- 
paigning taken possession with that army of one single 
town at least wherein to locate the government of the re- 
public? Why has he not captured one single port 
through which to get aid, export the productions of the 
country to the value of millions, and thus acquire a right 
to recognition as belligerents? Where are schools? 
Where are those churches? Have those at Guaimaro and 


Sibarncu, which were burned by that renowned general 
been perchance rebuilt? Why are the soldiers unshod 
or wearing strips of raw hide if there are three thousand 
shoes made weekly and four thousand hides tanned per 
month? Where is the abundance for the soldier? 
Where has he got coffee, rice, tobacco, etc.? Where are 
those sugaring mills in regular running order? . . . 
Then as to the commission of Manuel Quesada and his 
separation from command, do you know as well as I do 
that he was ignominiously deposed by the Chamber, and 
that during his stay in Cuba, from his first arrival his 
conduct has been blameworthy under all aspects? 

"Well, then, Cubans, this is the plan followed from the 
beginning of the revolution. They are deceiving you 
and our brethren in New York as well as the whole 
world. For these reasons I say that the edifice is raised 
on insecure and imaginary foundations. For these rea- 
sons have I always tried to undeceive the country and 
let them see clearly, so as to prevent Cuba from sinking 
into the abyss wherein she is intended to be cast. Withal 
I have not been understood. There has been no lack of 
someone who, out of exaltation and under pressure of 
some sad aberration has qualified my conduct as treason- 
able. Ah! Whoever stated that knows not even the 
meaning of his words ! When did I ever recognize this 
government? Never; but rather have I always been in 
opposition thereto. For as I wish my country's welfare 
I could not second an illegal, arbitrary, despotic govern- 
ment that is annihilating our land. 

"They recognize their error, but they have not loyalty 
enough to confess it, they are aware that they are neither 
statesmen nor lovers of liberty, nor patriots and their 
consciences sting them; they know that I have always 
seen farther than they could, and more clearly, that all 


ray predictions have been fulfilled; that I have been 
alone in maintaining energetically my principles ; bearing 
up against all kinds of privation and danger; and they 
do not forgive me for these advantages over them; they 
know that my past and my present career have been free 
from all stain; and they do not forgive me for that. 

"Well, if to have thus behaved, to have made entire 
abstraction of self and my interests, to look after the 
welfare of Cuba, to have done harm to no one, but much 
good ; far from having taken life, to have saved the lives 
of many, without distinction of nationality; to have re- 
spected always the property of others, and never have 
let my hand touch the incendiary torch, to forward paci- 
fication, when I know that the country needs it; and 
that by it alone can tears, blood, and destruction be 
prevented; if to have done all this constitute treason, 
ah! then I am a traitor; yes, Gentlemen, I am one and 
feel proud of it. 

"Your government claims to favor liberty for the coun- 
try; why then does it not consent to freedom of one's 
principles? Why does it not admit of neutrality? Why 
does it force people to take up arms without distinction 
of persons? Why has it always been opposed to speak- 
ing out in public? Why did it oppose the country's ac- 
ceptance, when so close, of General Dulce's concessions? 
Why does it persecute to death whoever tries to separate 
himself from said government without having any in- 
tention of waging war against it? Why? I will tell 
you. Because then there would remain in the camp of 
the insurrection only a dozen men; the only ones inter- 
ested in the continuance of this war between brethren; 
this war of desolation and extermination. 

"I agree that there was reason for the Cuban people to 
complain and be resentful against the government that 


ruled them; but all this has changed, not only with regard 
to the institution but as to the manner of being as well. I 
am myself an example of what I state. I presented my- 
self to the Captain-General who received me in such a way 
as to prove by his manner alone, his good wishes ; even if 
these were not confirmed by the conduct which he followed 
in the Villas and wherever he has been able to make the 
impress of his own feelings felt. In his proclamation 
he offers a pardon to all who will present themselves ; but 
as every medal has its reverse, so whoever fails to do so 
must suffer the cold and inexorable rigor of the law. 

"Fellow-countrymen, my brethren, let us throw a veil 
over the past. Let us look to the future of our families 
and to the prosperity of our nation. 

"You know well how many persecutions, privations and 
even vexations I have suffered. I forget it all and for- 
give from my heart all who have sought my death and 
wanted my blood. I forgive all who, directly or indi- 
rectly have offended me, of whatever nation or condition 
they may be. I sacrifice all, all, on the altar of my coun- 
try, and for the welfare of humanity. Why do you not 
follow my example ? 

"Brethren! let there be no more tears, no more blood, 
no more ruins ! Return to your presides and let a fra- 
ternal embrace unite forever both Spaniards and Cubans 
and let us all together make of this beautiful Island 
the Pearl of the Antilles the Pearl also of the world. 
Cubans, I await you, and the undeserved consideration 
shown to me by the first authority of Cuba which fortu- 
nately is held by Sefior Don Antonio Caballero de Rodas 
I offer to use in your behalf. For myself I seek only 
the satisfaction of having always forwarded the welfare 

"March 28th, 1870." 


The italics are Arango's and his alone also the extraor- 
dinary sentiments expressed in this remarkable document. 

In this same year, the question of slavery came up for 
attention. While the United States government had 
abandoned its attempt to mediate between Spain and 
Cuba it had, of course, by its own action during the 
Civil War, definitely arrayed itself against slavery wher- 
ever it existed, and it now, through its Minister to Spain, 
Daniel E. Sickles, entered into negotiations with the 
Spanish government, looking to the actual freeing of the 
slaves in Cuba. 

Of course news of these happenings did not fail to 
penetrate Cuba and to reach the ears of the Captain-Gen- 
eral. Indeed he seemed to have a premonition of them, 
even before the United States government had definitely 
taken up the matter with Spain. He was nothing if not 
an opportunist, and he, therefore, on his own account, on 
February 24, 1870, issued a decree which had the effect 
of freeing two thousand colored prisoners of war, and 
which read as follows: 

"Superior Political Government of the Province of Cuba: 

"By virtue of the faculties with which I am invested, 
and in keeping with the royal decree of the 27th of Octo- 
ber, 1865, I think fit to extend by decree of the 21st of 
September, ultimo, declaring exemption from dependency 
on the government the expeditions entitled Puerto Escon- 
dido, Cabanas 10, Cabanas 85, Cabanas San Diego de 
Minez and Trinidad. 

"In consequence thereof the employers who have in 
their service emancipated slaves of the referred-to expedi- 
tions, will present them in the Secretary's office of this 
superior government within the period of one month, in 


order that, after the usual formalities, they may receive 
their letters of exemption. 

"At the same time, the governors and lieutenant-gov- 
ernors will publish this direction in the periodicals of 
their respective jurisdictions, so that it may come to the 
notice of the holders of these emancipados and they can- 
not allege ignorance of it. 

"Havana, February 24, 1870." 

Rodas was crafty, and he now thought of a device 
which under the guise of mercy would hamper the Cuban 
army. On May 26th he promulgated a second decree 
freeing all slaves who had acted or would act as guides 
to the Spanish army, or render any like valuable service 
to the government, an effort, of course, to induce the 
former servants of patriots to betray their masters and 
the Cuban army into the hands of the Spaniards. To 
disguise the baldness of this attempt at corruption, he 
also included a provision, freeing all slaves belonging to 
the insurgents or who had escaped to foreign countries. 
This provision was for all practical purposes meaningless 
and without any value, because the Cubans themselves 
who were fighting for freedom from Spain had already 
emancipated their slaves. 

Meanwhile negotiations between Sickles and the Span- 
ish government resulted in the promulgation of a decree, 
which was known as the Moret law, acquiring its name 
from the Spanish Minister of Colonies, whose signature 
was one of many signed to the document, and who is re- 
ported to have had a hand in its composition. It bore 
date, July 4, 1870, and was promulgated by the Captain- 
General nearly two months later, as follows: 
"Superior Political Government of the Province of Cuba: 


"His Excellency the Regent of the kingdom communi- 
cates to me, under date of July 4th ultimo, the following 
law, which has been promulgated or sanctioned by the 
Congressional Cortes: 

"Don Francisco Serrano of Dominguez, Regent of the 
kingdom, by the will of the sovereign Cortes, to all to 
whom these presents shall come, greeting: 

"Know ye that the Congressional Cortes of the Span- 
ish nation does hereby decree and sanction the following : 

"Article 1. All children of slave mothers, born after 
the publication of this law, are declared free. 

"Article 2. All slaves born between the 18th of Sep- 
tember, 1868, and the time of the publication of this law, 
are acquired by the state by the payment to the owners of 
the sum of twenty five dollars. 

"Article 3. All slaves who have served under the 
Spanish flag or who have in any way aided the troops 
during the present insurrection in Cuba are declared 
free. All those are equally recognized as free as shall 
have been so declared by the superior government of 
Cuba, by virtue of its jurisdiction. The state shall pay 
their value to their masters, if the latter have remained 
faithful to the Spanish cause; if belonging to insurgents, 
they shall receive no indemnity. 

"Article 4. Slaves, who, at the time of the publication 
of this law, shall have attained the age of sixty years 
are declared free, without any indemnification to their 
owners. The same benefit shall be enjoyed by those who 
shall hereafter reach this age. 

"Article 5. All slaves belonging to the state, either as 
emancipated, or who for any other cause are at present 
under the control of the state, shall at once enter upon the 
full exercise of their civil rights. 

"Article 6. Those persons freed by this law who are 


mentioned in articles 1 and 2, shall remain under the 
control of the owners of the mother, after the payment 
of the indemnity prescribed in Article 2. 

"Article 7. The control referred to in the foregoing 
article imposes upon the person exercising it the obliga- 
tion to maintain his wards, to clothe them, care for them 
in sickness, giving them primary instruction, and the edu- 
cation necessary to carry on an art or trade. The person 
exercising the aforesaid control acquired all the rights 
of a guardian, and may, moreover, enjoy the benefit of the 
labor of the freedman, without making any compensation, 
until said freedman has reached the age of eighteen 

"Article 8. When the freedman has reached the age of 
eighteen years, 'he shall receive half the wages of a freed- 
man. Of these wages, one half shall be paid to him at 
once, and the other half shall be reserved in order to form 
a capital for him, in the manner to be determined by sub- 
sequent regulations. 

"Article 9. On attaining the age of twenty-two years, 
the freedman shall acquire the full control of his civil 
rights and his capital shall be paid to him. 

"Article 10. The control will also be annulled: first, 
by the marriage of the freedman, when the same is en- 
tered into by females over fourteen years and males over 
eighteen years old; second, by a proved bad treatment on 
the part of the guardian or his noncompliance with his 
duty, as stipulated in Article 7 ; third, should the guar- 
dian prostitute or favor the prostitution of the freed- 

"Article 11. The above mentioned control is trans- 
missible by all means known in law, and is also resign- 
able when just motives exist. Legitimate or illegitimate 
parents who are free shall be permitted to assume the 


control of their children by the payment to the guardian 
of the same of any expense he may have incurred for 
account of the freedman. Subsequent regulations will 
settle the basis of this indemnification. 

"Article 12. The Superior civil government shall 
form, in the space of one month from the publication of 
this law, lists of the slaves comprised in articles 3 and 5. 

"Article 13. The freed persons mentioned in the fore- 
going article remain under the control of the state. This 
control is confined to protecting them, defending them 
and furnishing them the means of gaining a livelihood, 
without limiting their liberty in the slightest degree. 
Those who prefer to return to Africa shall be conveyed 

"Article 14. The slaves referred to in article 4 may 
remain with their owners, who shall thus acquire control 
over them. When they shall have preferred to continue 
with their former masters it shall be optional with the 
latter to give them compensation or not, but, in all cases, 
as well as in that of the freed persons being unable to 
maintain themselves by reason of physical disability, it 
shall be the duty of the said former masters to feed them, 
clothe them, and care for them in sickness. This duty 
shall be a concomitant of the right to employ them in 
labors suitable to their condition. Should the freedman 
object to the compliance with his obligation to labor, or 
should he create disturbances at the house of his guar- 
dian, the authorities will decide the questions arising 
therefrom, after having first heard the freedman. 

"Article 15. If the freedman of his own free will 
shall leave the control of his former master, the latter 
shall no longer be under the obligations mentioned in the 
foregoing article. 

"Article 16. The Government shall provide the means 


necessary for the indemnifications made necessary by the 
present law, by means of a tax upon those who shall re- 
main in slavery, ranging from eleven to sixty years of 

"Article 17. Any act of cruelty, duly justified as hav- 
ing been indicted by the tribunals of justice, will bring 
with it as a consequence the freedom of the slave suffer- 
ing such excess of chastisement. 

"Article 18. Any concealment impeding the applica- 
tion of the benefits of this law shall be punished accord- 
ing to title 13 of the penal code. 

"Article 19. All those shall be considered free who 
do not appear enrolled in the census drawn up in the 
Island of Porto Rico the 31st of December, 1869, and in 
that which will have been drawn up in the Island of Cuba 
on the 31st of December of the present year, 1870. 

"Article 20. The Government shall make a special 
regulation for the execution of this law. 

"Article 21. The Government will report to the Cor- 
tes when the Cuban deputies shall have been admitted, a 
bill for the compensated emancipation of those who re- 
main in slavery after the establishment of this law. 
Meantime this emancipation is carried into effect; the 
penalty of the whip, authorized by chapter 13 of the regu- 
lations for Porto Rico and Cuba, shall be abolished; 
neither can there be sold separately from their mothers 
children younger than fourteen years, nor slaves who are 
united in matrimony. 

"By a resolution of the Congressional Cortes the fore- 
going is reported to the Regent of the Kingdom for its 
promulgation as a law. 

"MANUEL Ruiz ZORILLA, President. 

"MANUEL DE LIANGS Y PERSI, Deputy Secretary. 

"JULIAN SANCHEZ RUANO, Deputy Secretary. 



"MARIANO Ruiz, Deputy Secretary. 
"Palace of the Cortes, June 23, 1870. 

"Therefore I order all tribunals, justices, officers, gov- 
ernors and other authorities of whatsoever class or posi- 
tion, to obey the same and cause it to be obeyed, complied 
with and executed in all its parts. 

"FRANCISCO SERRANO, Minister of Ultramar. 


"San Ildefonso, July 4, 1870. 

"And, having opportunely omitted the publication of 
the same for the want of the regulation referred to in 
Article 20, and having received the sense in which said 
document is to be drawn up, I have ordered the exact 
compliance of said law, in virtue of which it is inserted 
in the Official Gazette for future guidance. 


"Havana, Sept. 28, 1870." 

If these decrees were intended to fill the insurgents 
with gratitude, and to have the effect of halting the revo- 
lution, they fell far short of their mark. In the first 
place, the Spanish Government had too often tricked her 
Cuban subjects, and they had little cause to have faith 
in either her good will or her good intentions, and much 
more cause to believe that her action was intended as a 
sop to the Government at Washington, an attempt to 
"pull the wool over the eyes" of American sympathizers, 
and even a very cursory glance at the provisions of the 
Moret law would convince even a layman with no knowl- 
edge of jurisprudence that there was small chance of their 
ever being enforced. 

It is true that this law provided for the freedom of all 
slaves born after a certain date, but it left them in the 
care of their mothers, and under the control of their 


former masters, condemned to serve without pay and vir- 
tually free only in name. It also proclaimed the free- 
dom of slaves who had reached the age of sixty years and 
who very likely had endured years of such hard treat- 
ment that they were infirm and in no condition to support 
themselves. If they were reluctant to start life alone 
and either by timidity or by coercion remained with their 
masters, the latter were at liberty to pay them or not, and 
when a Spanish planter had the option of obtaining labor 
free rather than paying for it, there was not much room 
for doubt as to what course he would pursue. The whip- 
ping post was abolished, but the Cubans were too busy 
with other matters to patrol the country in search of 
violations of this regulation, and the masters were pretty 
safe to conduct themselves as they chose. This law, 
which contained such fair words that it met with the ap- 
proval of the American minister, was almost ludicrous in 
its paradoxical terms, and instead of impressing the pa- 
triots with the softened hearts of their tyrannical masters, 
it must have filled the intelligent ones with mirth. 

Besides this, since upon the declaration of the inde- 
pendence of Cuba the revolutionary government had de- 
clared the freedom of all men on the Island, Spain's 
action so long afterward was like opera bouffe, or rather 
a grimly amusing anti-climax. As a matter of fact the 
Moret law remained a dead letter, unenforced, overlooked, 
violated, almost forgotten, and the subject of slavery again 
fell into the background, while the war took the front of 
the stage. 

Spain was having constantly to reinforce her army, 
and she was unable to do this in sufficient numbers to 
make up deficits properly. The climate of Cuba was 
very hard on the new recruits who had not become accus- 
tomed to it, and Spain lost almost as many by disease as 


she did in battle. She renewed her cruelties against the 
unprotected Cuban planters, and not only burned and 
pillaged, but subjected all captives to the most revolting 
and sickening cruelties, gouging out eyes, cutting out 
tongues, crucifying and hanging men by their hands. 
Probably the atrocities practiced by the Spaniards in this 
war were never equalled, unless we recall the barbarities 
which they practiced later in 1895, until the Huns of 
Prussia invaded Belgium and France in the great war 
of 1914-18, and showed what inefficient novices in devil- 
try the Spanish had been when compared with the dis- 
ciples of "Kultur." 

The year 1871 opened brightly for the patriots. That 
seasoned warrior General Jordan led a company to vic- 
tory, at Najassa, against a force of Spaniards under Gen- 
eral Puello. The Spanish losses were especially gratify- 
ing, if that term may be employed, since they included 
thirty-six officers. 

Meanwhile Rodas, in spite of his methods, which must 
have been most gratifying to them, fell into disfavor with 
the Volunteers, and they exerted their power against him, 
finally effecting his resignation and the elevation of Count 
Valmaseda in his place, in a temporary capacity, until 
another Captain-General could be sent from Spain. 

Spain once more made overtures to the United States 
Government, asking it to use its offices in eliciting from 
the revolutionary government some statement of terms 
which would be satisfactory to them as a basis of peace. 
Since former efforts to bring the belligerents together had 
been so productive of failure, Washington demurred 
from officially undertaking the matter; whereupon Don 
Nicolas Azcarate went to Washington from Spain with 
authorization to offer to the insurgents an amnesty, and 
disarmament of the Volunteers, provided the Cubans 



laid down their arms. They were further to be granted 
the immediate and unconditional emancipation of slaves, 
irrespective of age and condition of servitude. All confis- 
cations made by either side were to be annulled, and the 
property thus seized was to be restored to the original 
owners. Religious freedom, free speech, and free as- 
sembly, were to be granted the Cubans, while Cuba was 
to have representation in the Spanish Cortes, and to be 
governed by colonial autonomy, 
similar to that which Great Britain 
maintained in her American prov- 
inces. Last of all, and by no 
means least, all officials who were 
offensive to the Cubans were to be 
removed from office. Of course, 
these instructions were confiden- 
tial, because of the offense which 
they would have given the pow- 
erful Volunteers. The United 
States, however, did not undertake 
to transmit the proposed terms to the insurgents, and 
finally Azcarate undertook to do so on his own initia- 
tive. He had little faith in the fate which his pro- 
posal might meet, should it be transmitted through Span- 
ish sources in Cuba and its terms be divulged to the 
Volunteers. He doubted whether it would ever reach 
President Cespedes. He therefore decided to transmit it 
by special messenger, for this purpose choosing Juan 
Clemente Zenea, a man in whose discretion and resource- 


Nicolas Azcarate was the founder of the New Lyceum of Havana which 
for years was the centre of the intellectual life of that city, and his home 
was the resort of the literary and artistic world. Papers read at his re- 
ceptions by eminent men were published in two volumes under the title of 
"Literary Nights." He was born in 1826 and died in 1894, leaving a lit- 
erary influence which is still gratefully perceptible. 



fulness he had the greatest faith. To make the journey 
safe for his envoy, he obtained from the Spanish minister 
at Washington a safe conduct for Zenea, ordering the 
military and naval authorities of Cuba, as well as the 
Volunteers, to afford safe passage to Don Juan Clemente 
Zenea "into and out of any port 
on the Island of Cuba." Zenea 
reached President Cespedes with- 
out accident and laid the prop- 
osition before him, which was 
promptly refused. The Volun- 
teers, meanwhile, had learned of 
Zenea's coming, and of the nature 
of his errand. Even the greatest 
of secrecy could not have kept the 
JUAN CLEMENTE ZENEA knowledge from them, for their 
spies were everywhere active, not only in the Island, 
but in the United States and at the Spanish court as 
well. When Zenea left the Cuban lines, he was imme- 
diately seized by the Volunteers and imprisoned at Ha- 
vana, under heavy guard. The news of this occurrence 
reached Spain and immediately the Duke de la Torre, 
then President of King Amadeus's Council of Min- 
isters, protested to the authorities at Havana, and in- 
sisted that Zenea be released and be given safe conduct 
from the Island. But the will of the Volunteers was 
more powerful in Cuba than were the wishes of those 


Poet, patriot and martyr, Juan Clemente Zenea was born at Bayamo 
in 1831, and in boyhood settled in Havana. He was a teacher in La 
Luz's school, El Salvador, and wrote some exquisite poems. But politics 
and Cuban independence claimed his chief attention. From his seventeenth 
year he was incessantly engaged in revolutionary conspiracies, in Havana and 
in New Orleans and New York. In 1868 he went to New York where 
he was an active member of the Junta. In 1870 he was sent on a mission 
to President Cespedes, which he accomplished but soon afterward was cap- 
tured by the Spaniards, imprisoned in Cabanas, and then shot. 


high in authority in Spain, or than the common tenets 
of decency, right and justice. Zenea was not released 
and he was not given safe conduct. After many months' 
imprisonment under the most revolting conditions, he was 
condemned to death without 4rial, and on August 1 5 was 
taken out and shot in the back. 

This action would hardly have been conducive to good 
feeling between the opposing leaders, even had the Cubans 
had faith in Spanish promises. In too hard a school 
had they learned that it was useless to expect the Spanish 
authorities on the Island to keep their word to the Cubans, 
either in the small matter of a safe conduct for an inno- 
cent messenger, or the larger one of proposed concessions 
to an oppressed people. The Cuban government was 
not to be thus easily lured from their attempts to secure 
the one thing which was to them paramount, the real ob- 
ject for which they had made so many sacrifices, the 
absolute independence of the Island. Moreover, even 
were the promise made under the guarantee of the United 
States Government, the Cubans could not be convinced 
of the good faith of Spain, or that when once they had 
abandoned their struggle, laid down their arms, and 
given Spain the advantage, she would act otherwise than 
she had during her entire occupation of the Island. They 
felt sure that if her advances were graciously met, she 
would, when she again had the balance of power, simply 
impose upon the Island new indignities, and cover her 
treachery with fair words and vague promises whenever 
the United States might enter a protest. 

Spain expressed indignation at the shortsighted policy 
of the Cuban leaders, and then gave demonstration of how 
she intended to punish Cuba. She renewed her persecu- 
tion of individual Cubans, and her cruelty toward Cuban 
sympathizers who while nursing their cordial feelings for 


the revolution had not yet taken up arms against Spain. 
It was only necessary that such persons should be sus- 
pected, and that suspicion might be of the slightest variety. 
They were immediately seized and thrown into dungeons 
and tortured to extract their confessions; the right of trial 
was at this time almost entirely dispensed with, and vic- 
tims of Spanish wrath were put to death without an 
opportunity to defend themselves, and executed in ways 
which are usually associated with the most barbarous 
savageness. So glaring did these outrages become that 
General Cespedes undertook to write a letter to the Span- 
ish Government at Madrid concerning them, although 
why, knowing the character of his opponents as he did, 
he should have entertained the idea that this mild inter- 
vention on his part would have the slightest effect, or 
should have imagined that Spain was not cognizant of 
the actions of her legionaries in Cuba, and that such 
actions were performed without her fullest sanction, is 
not revealed. Cespedes certainly displayed a childlike 
faith in the ultimate spark of good in depraved human 
nature, when he took up his pen for such a communica- 
tion. But be that as it may, he addressed the following 
epistle to the "Supreme Government of Spain." 

"The respect inspired by the laws of nations, which, 
under the influence of modern civilization has, as far as 
possible, deprived war of its savage character, imposes 
on us the obligation of addressing the Spanish Govern- 
ment an energetic remonstrance, in consequence of sev- 
eral offensive acts, which could not be known without 
causing offense to the civilized world. From the time 
when the standard of Independence was raised in Cuba, 
unworthy motives have been attributed to our contest. 
We shall not explain the justice of the Cuban Revolution, 
for such an explanation would be unpleasant to that Gov- 


eminent, and besides it is not now necessary; but we may 
say, in general, a colony is justified in severing the knot 
which binds it to the mother-country, if it possesses suffi- 
cient elements to live independently. 

"Colonial life is restricting, it can never entirely satisfy 
the aspirations of an intelligent people, and, therefore, it 
cannot be justly imposed upon them when they are in a 
position to maintain their political existence. 

"A vicious rule, which was dissipated in Spain by the 
popular rising of September, made worse, we might say 
intolerable, the colonial existence of the Cubans. 

"The Cubans have decided to conquer with the sword, 
as they can obtain in no other manner the exercise of their 
most important rights. Weighty motives prevent their 
government from being more explicit in so delicate a mat- 
ter, but it is certain that only taking into consideration the 
results of the war, no other relations are now possible 
between Cuba and Spain, than those of a friendly spirit 
based on the condition of perfect independence. 

"In addition to what we have already stated, a political 
party armed from commencement of the struggle, under 
the denomination of Spanish Volunteers, and known by 
their intolerance and retrograding tendencies, have con- 
verted a question of ideas into a question of petty personal 
interest; wresting the authority from those delegates of 
that government, and imposing their caprices like laws; 
giving an indecorous character to official manifestations 
relating to the revolution; and in entire forgetfulness of 
the rights of man, have perpetrated incredible crimes, 
which cast a blot on the history of Spain in America. 

"To relate all in detail would be very painful to us, 
and to the government whom we are addressing. 

"It is sufficient to say that the troops charged with 
preserving the Spanish dominion occupy themselves, in 


preference, in persecuting the families who reside in the 
territories of the Republic, by depriving them of all they 
possess, burning their habitations, and have even gone 
several times so far as to make use of their arms against 
women, children and old people. At the very moment 
whilst we are writing this remonstrance, an awful example 
has occurred. 

"On the 6th of January of the present year, a Spanish 
column, commanded by Colonel Acosta y Alvear, while 
marching from Camaguey to Ciego de Avila, assassinated 
in its march these citizens of Juana, Mora de Mola and 
Mercedes Mora de Mola; the children, Adrina Mola, 
aged twelve, Agnela Mola, aged eight, and Mercedes 
Mola, aged two years. The horror which is produced 
by crimes of such enormity, above all in the minds of 
those who are far from the theatre of the events, is such 
as to make them appear hardly credible, if we did not 
take into consideration the demoralization of an army 
accustomed to pillage and violence, which generally has 
no limits. 

"Such excesses doubtless are not with the consent of 
the Supreme Government of a nation, in which the spirit 
of modern times has made very eloquent manifestations. 

"If Spain will not grant to us the happy establishment 
of their acquired liberties, recognizing the right of the 
Cubans to the separation, we hope she will at least be 
disposed to guarantee the observation of human princi- 
ples in the prosecution of the struggle ; and as some chiefs 
of the liberating forces have on several occasions de- 
manded in vain from the opposing chiefs a proper method 
of conducting the war, we now ask the Supreme Govern- 
ment of the Spanish nation to enter into arrangements to 
protect the lives of the prisoners, and secure the inviola- 
bility of the individuals who, on account of their sex, age 


and other personal considerations may be exempt from 
liabilities protesting that we shall not be responsible, if 
such Spanish chiefs will not regard what we now offer, 
for the terrible consequences which will certainly follow 
this barbarous system of warfare. 

"We give publicity to the present dispatch, that it may 
come to the knowledge of foreign governments. 
"Headquarters of the Government. 

President of the Cuban Republic. 
"January 24, 1871." 

The foregoing did have the effect of acquainting the 
world with Spanish atrocities, but its influence in restrain- 
ing the further perpetration of outrages, or in producing 
any official action by Spain looking toward that desirable 
end, was absolutely nil. 

It possibly did impress the United States Government, 
confirmed as it was by constant complaints from citizens 
of the United States, resident in Cuba. At any rate, the 
United States issued a rebuke to Spain for the indignities 
inflicted on American citizens in Cuba, and backed up this 
communication with an order to her navy to stand by and 
protect the lives and property of Americans in Cuba, and 
to maintain the dignity of the flag of the United States. 

The Cuban forces were at this time suffering from grave 
disorder. Attacks by the enemy were not so menacing 
to the success of the struggle a*s internal disruptions and 
dissention among the leaders of the Republican army. 
They grew so serious that an actual break occurred, and 
on January 19, General Cornelio Porro proved disloyal 
to the cause of freedom, and in company with some other 
supposed patriots, entered Puerto Principe and surren- 
dered to the Spanish Government, while at the end of the 


month, Eduardo Machado, the Secretary of the Cuban 
House of Representatives, wrote to the Captain-General, 
Count Valmaseda, stating that the Cuban House of Rep- 
resentatives had dissolved and beseeching clemency for 
the former members of that body. He added that Senor 
Miguel G. Gutierrez was a fugitive, wandering about 
with his little son. 

It naturally was a severe blow to loyal patriots to find 
such treachery within their own ranks, although they may 
have comforted themselves with the truism that such has 
always been the case in rebellions against a powerful 
ruler. The weak, the fearful, and the selfish have aban- 
doned the cause, when its fate seemed wavering. They 
may also have justly argued that, if these men were 
traitors, loyal supporters of the cause of freedom were 
well rid of them; that the strength of an organization is 
like that of the proverbial chain, and that it becomes 
shorter but immeasurably stronger by the removal of the 
weak links. Whether they were sustained by any such 
comforting philosophy or not, the defection of Porro and 
Machado did not for a moment cause the loyal Cuban 
leaders to falter from their purpose to secure freedom for 
Cuba. To strengthen the courage of loyal Cubans, 
President Cespedes and Ignacio Agramonte issued proc- 
lamations in which they expressed the greatest faith in the 
Cuban cause, and its ultimate victory, and urged all loyal 
hearts to maintain their support of the battle for liberty. 


{ n-jT 3iij 10 esoisH fcomoiol arlf >c 
.vniterb jfeor;T srl.t lo ,<no }o T3dcn3tn 

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Tjlnvv ,5}BOOvhj8 Ja^nim-' xf brw . 

;'.) "lo 38Ufi3 ycfi ot nobovab aarro 

>: orfr 'lo .rffi-jT'.i'uo 3f(i noqu yhj: .oono 

fo TjLi>->( fnuJ j; ll'j?.nnri it'r/.'Off? fin;, bhft -::!') >lr 

iO'/oH yrft lo i 
-01 norfj bns ,noihnh-;.rro'J fisu'wO orii b.'i' 

r{ L-itsaaO is .[)f-j;r . jilt ;i ;!.: 

1 ibi'.tiT*! 

>.rt B lot [ > "to TA'jrnJiJsq^CT orit 

'ri Jlo'i oH .van A ' lo ''->irfj iff isbncrmno ' SK 

: ,1 vfuT no w(Gi}viinii\ "to t/iL 

;;z was a fugitive, wandering ab> 
witi< on. 

It natu~ 


One of the foremost heroes of the Ten Years' War was Ignacio 
Agramonte y Loinaz, a member of one of the most distinguished 
families in Cuban history. He was born in Camaguey in 1841, 
was educated for the bar, and became an eminent advocate, writer 
and orator, with intense devotion to the cause of Cuban independ- 
ence. Immediately upon the outbreak of the revolution at Yara in 
1868 he took the field and showed himself a born leader of men. 
He was made Secretary of the Revolutionary government, signed 
the Emancipation act and the Cuban Constitution, and then re- 
turned to active work in the field. As Major General he par- 
ticipated in many battles, including the capture of a part of Cama- 
guey on July 20, 1869. President Cespedes made him Chief of 
the Department of Camaguey, and for a time he succeeded Quesada 
as commander in chief of the Revolutionary Army. He fell in 
the battle of Jimaguayu on July 1, 1873. 





WHILE these things were occurring in the "Ever Faith- 
ful Isle," there were doings of epochal significance in 
Peninsular Spain. Queen Isabella had, as we have seen, 
for some time been an exile, and on June 25, 1870, the 
Serrano republican government forced her to sign a final 
manifesto of abdication. The government itself, how- 
ever, was far from strong, and was unable to stand against 
strong opposition in the Cortes. It was shortly over- 
thrown by a vote of that body, and a monarchical form of 
government was re-established. The crown was formally 
offered to and accepted by Amadeus, son of King Victor 
Emmanuel II of Italy, on December 4, 1870. When this 
news reached Cuba, the Spanish troops on the island took 
formal oath of allegiance to the new king of Spain. 

The reestablishment of a monarchy was, of course, ex- 
ceedingly pleasing to the Volunteers, for they had no 
sympathy with a republic, and the freedom which it was 
supposed to entail, although in the case of the republic 
in Spain, few changes or concessions had been extended 
to its Cuban subjects. The Volunteers promptly took 
oath to support the monarchy, and denounced the republi- 
can constitution. They embraced this as a favorable op- 
portunity to further an end of their own. They had long 
suspected the Bishop of Havana of being in sympathy 
with the revolution. He was at this time absent in at- 
tendance at the Vatican Council at Rome, and the Volun- 
teers were able so to manipulate matters that, upon his 
return on April 13, 1871, he was refused permission 
to land. 

Believing that the new government would give even 



more cordial support to their machinations than had the 
previous one, the Volunteers now began a system of per- 
secutions against Cuban patriots. The Volunteer corps, 
in 1872, numbered eighty thousand members, and in 1870 
and 1871 they could not have fallen far below that num- 
ber. They were so powerful that the Captain-General 
must either conform to their wishes or sooner or later give 
way to a successor whom they selected. Now there was 
published in Havana a paper, called La Voz de Cuba, 
which was really the ''Voice of the Volunteers," for its 
editor, Gonzalo Castanon, was a Colonel of that organ- 
ization. It busied itself, among other things, with at- 
tacks on the patriots, and took occasion to voice some 
derogatory remarks concerning Cuban women. Natu- 
rally the Cuban husbands, sons, fathers and lovers were 
hot with indignation against such calumny. Castanon 
paid the just penalty of his scurrilous lack of chivalry, 
for he was challenged by an outraged Cuban and in the 
duel which followed he received a mortal wound. He 
was buried in a tomb in the Espada Cemetery. Some 
time afterward, a party of young students hardly more 
than boys from the University of Havana, visited the 
cemetery, and it was reported to the authorities that one 
of them had been heard, while standing near the tomb of 
Castanon, to make remarks derogatory to the dead Colo- 
nel. This information was given by a Spanish soldier, 
who claimed to have overheard the conversation, and 
when it was repeated to a Spanish judge, the accusation 
was added that the boy's companions had defaced the 
glass which closed the Castanon tomb. The Volunteers 
immediately pounced upon the happening, as a delight- 
ful opportunity to chastise and punish the members of 
wealthy families in Havana who were suspected of aiding 
and abetting the revolution. The power of the Captain- 


General was invoked, and forty-three students were ar- 
rested and brought to trial. They were ably defended by 
a Spanish officer, Sefior Capdevilla, and he made such 
a good case for their innocence that they were acquitted. 
The Volunteers, however, were not satisfied. Injustice 
had in some manner miscarried, how they could not con- 
ceive, and justice had triumphed. Such things would not 
do in dealing with Cubans. They made a vigorous ap- 
peal to the Captain-General, and obtained from him an 
order for assembling a second court martial, and this 
time they saw to it that their own body was well repre- 
sented in that body. The boys were again apprehended, 
and the trial which ensued was a tragic farce, in which 
they were given not the slightest chance for justice. Eight 
of them were condemned to death, and the others to im- 
prisonment at hard labor. Consternation reigned among 
the best families of Cuba. One distracted father offered 
a ransom of a million dollars for the life of his son, but 
without avail. On November 27, 1871, the condemned 
criminals, whose worst offence, if indeed there was any 
offense at all, was the utterance of an indignant remark 
about a ruffian who had attacked those dearest to all 
loyal, chivalrous and patriotic hearts, the women of Cuba, 
were led out and shot in the presence of fifteen thousand 
Spanish Volunteers, all under arms. In after years 
when the wrong was beyond repair, justice was done to 
the memory of these martyred youths, for not only did 
the Spanish Cortes, with admirable fairness, investigate 
the matter and pronounce in favor of the innocence of 
the students, but also the son of Castanon came to Cuba 
from Spain with the object of removing thither his father's 
remains, investigated the condition of the tomb, and made 
a sworn statement before a notary that it had never been 


The murder of the students of course created intense 
feeling in Cuba ; Havana was in a turmoil, and the senti- 
ment engendered by this and similar outrages committed 
or incited by the Volunteers swelled the list of those who 
were in sympathy with a speedy release for Cuba from 
Spanish rule. The scene of the tragedy has since been 
marked by the Cuban government with a tablet which 
bears this inscription: 

"On the 27th of November, 1871, there were sacrificed 
in front of this place, by the Spanish Volunteers of Ha- 
vana, the eight young Cuban students of the First Year 
of Medicine : 

Alonzo Alvarez de la Jose de Marcos Medina, 


Carlos Augusto de Latorre, Eladio Gonzales Toledo, 
Pascual Rodriquiz Perez, Anacleto Bermudez, 
Angel Laborde, Carlos Verdugo. 

To their eternal memory, this tablet is dedicated, the 27th 
of November, 1899." 

While these events were taking place, and in spite of 
the troubles which had beset them within their own ranks, 
the Cuban leaders maintained a force of fifty thousand 
men in the field, and gained an important victory in the 
vicinity of Mayari. This was more than offset by an 
occurrence which struck brutally at the very foundation 
of the Cuban army. In July, 1871, the Spanish defeated 
at Guantanamo a force of two hundred men, under 
General Quesada, but this was trivial compared with the 
catastrophe which it involved. General Quesada was 
taken prisoner, as was General Figueredo, and in August 
these two loyal patriots who had so ably supported the 
revolution, and the former of whom had been the brains 
of the army, were executed by the Spaniards. The deep- 
est gloom filled the hearts of the Cuban leaders, and their 


discouragement is the only explanation which can be 
offered of what followed, when a force of Cubans, who 
had been operating in the central part of the island, under 
General Agramonte, deserted and, approaching the Span- 
ish authorities, agreed to lay down their arms, provided 
their lives would be spared. The Spaniards accepted 
their offer, and promptly gave out a statement that the 
Cuban army was disrupted and that all that remained was 
a few slaves under General Agramonte. They were to 
learn, however, that the Cubans still had some fighting 
spirit left in them. Although the defection of so large 
a body of his command left only thirty-five men under 
Agramonte, he speedily recruited a new company, and 
was able to harass the Spanish for two years longer, until 
he was killed in battle. 

The death of General Quesada left the post of Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Cuban army vacant, and General 
Modeste Diaz was elected to that office. An official re- 
port made by the Cubans at this time shows the composi- 
tion of the army to have been : 

Army Corps of Oriente. 

Commander-in-Chief, General Modeste Diaz 

Division of Santiago de Cuba; Major-General Commanding, Maximo Gomez 

Regiments Commander Localities No. of Men 

1 and 2 Col. Jesus Perez Cobre 600 

3 Lt. Col. Prado Baracoa 450 

4 Lt. Col. Guillermo Moncada Baracoa 550 

5 Lt. Col. Pacheco Guantanamo 450 

6 Brig. Calixto Garcia Jiguani 600 

Total 2,650 

Division of Holguin General Commanding, Jose Inclan 
Regiments Commander Localities No. of Men 

1 Co. Fco. Herrero West 300 

2 Gen. Inclan East 500 

Total . ..800 


Division of Bayamo General Commanding, Luis Figueredo 
Regiments Commander Localities No. of Men 

1 Maj. Gen. N. Garrido Manzanillo 550 

2 Gen. Luis Figueredo Bayamo 450 

Total 1,000 

Grand Total Army Corps of Oriente 4,300 

Army Corps of Camaguey 

Commander-in-Chief, General Vicente Garcia 

Division of Las Tunas General Commanding, Vicente Garcia 

Regiments Commander Localities No. of Men 

1 General Vincente Garcia Santa Rita 650 

2 Brig. Francisco Vega Arenas 400 

Total 1,050 

Division of Camaguey General Commanding, Ignacio Agramonte 
Regiments Commander Localities No. of Men 

1 Lt. Col. La Rosa Guaican Amar 300 

2 Col. Agramonte Porro Guaican Amar 400 

3 Lt. Col. Espinosa Guaican Amar 250 

4 Lt. Col. Manuel Suarez Guaimaro 300 

5 Lt. Col. Antonio Rodriguez Cubitas 200 

Total 1,450 

Grand Total Army Corps of Camaguey 2,600 

Army Corps of Las Villas 
Commander-in-Chief, Major-General Matso Casanova 

No. of Men 

Division of Trinidad, General Commanding, Brig. Juan Villegas 700 

Division of Sancti Spiritus, General Com'ding, Brig. Jose Villamie... 800 
Division of Villa Clara, General Commanding, Brig. Carlos Ruloff . . . . 600 
Division of Cienfuegos, General Commanding, Brig. Juan Villegas. . . 700 
Division of Remedies, General Commanding, Brig. Salome Hernandez 600 

Grand Army Total of Las Villas 3,400 

Grand Total 10,300 

In June, 1871, three regiments under General Maximo 
Gomez that able soldier and patriot who was to figure 
so largely in the final struggle against Spain in 1895 
were instructed to take up their position and endeavor to 
hold the line between Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo, 
and they accordingly entrenched themselves in the Loma 
de la Gallista, but they were almost immediately attacked 
by the Spanish. The battle was hotly contested for four 
hours and ended in a victory for the Cubans. The Span- 


ish losses included arms and ammunition which were 
eagerly appropriated by the conquerors. A few days 
later, a Spanish force renewed the attack, advancing fif- 
teen hundred strong against the men under Gomez, and 
again they went down to defeat, their total losses in the 
two battles amounting to one hundred killed, and a large 
number wounded. In addition to this, the Cubans took 
fifteen Spaniards prisoners. What must have been still 
more gratifying was an encounter which a small band of 
Cubans had about this time with a company of Volunteers, 
in which twenty-five of the latter were made prisoners. 

On July 3, Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Guevara with 
a company of Cubans was encamped at La Cabana del 
Estribo, when they were attacked by a force of three 
hundred Spaniards. He promptly ordered the camp 
abandoned, covering his retreat by a weak fire on the 
enemy. The Cubans were unable to make a more vigor- 
ous resistance, because they were inadequately supplied 
with ammunition, even though, with plenty of supplies, 
their position at La Cabana del Estribo might have been 
considered an advantageous one. But with the odds so 
greatly against them, the Cubans killed five Spaniards, 
and wounded forty others, among whom was Pedro Popa, 
one of those who had turned traitor to the cause of the 
revolution. But the Spaniards took vengeance on two 
practically defenseless persons. On their retreat, with 
their wounded, they met Major Baldoguin and two com- 
panions, who were on their way to see Lieutenant-Colonel 
Guevara, and captured Major Baldoguin. They took 
him to Bayamo, and in spite of the fact that he was se- 
verely wounded, they executed him at once upon arrival 
at that city. 

A few days later, the same force which had attacked 
Lieutenant-Colonel Guevara at Estribo, were reported to 


be again advancing against him. He sent a company of 
infantry to meet them, and an engagement ensued which 
lasted for over an hour. The Spaniards retreated to 
Los Toros, leaving behind them fifty-three killed and 
wounded. On this occasion Guevara's son was wounded, 
and one private was killed. 

A few days previous, on the evening of July 4, a small 
Cuban force attacked the Spanish camp at the village 
of Veguita, and harassed the enemy during the entire 
night, and the next day a company from the same division 
of the Cuban army had an engagement with a hundred 
and fifty Spanish cavalry, and put them to flight. The 
Cubans pursued them, and forced them to take a stand, 
when a fight took place which lasted an hour. The 
Cubans did not suffer a single casualty, while several of 
the Spaniards were killed, and they were obliged to 

On July 25, Major Dominguez with a small force, at- 
tacked the sugar plantation of Las Ovas, and sacked it 
almost in the presence of the Spaniards, who were en- 
camped only about half a mile distant, on the Esperanza 
1 estate. Having accomplished this feat, Major Domin- 
guez's soldiers raided a nearby estate, which was owned 
by Tomas Ramirez, another of those who had turned 
traitor. All the buildings on this plantation were set on 
fire, and razed to the ground, as were also those on the 
estate of Antonio Lastes. Curiously enough, although 
the Spaniards in much larger numbers, were near at hand, 
and must have been cognizant of these happenings, they 
made no attempt to interfere. 

A few days later, Major Noguera, with a small band, 
attacked forty of the enemy on a road leading to Bayamo, 
and put them to rout, capturing a considerable stock of 
supplies. This same band of patriots a little later en- 


countered a company of fifty Spaniards, who were driv- 
ing a herd of cattle toward El Huinilladero. They 
opened fire, and dispersed the Spaniards, wounding an 
officer, and taking possession of the cattle, together with 
a supply of cartridges, horses with their equipment, 
blankets and provisions. 

On July 30, several companies from the division of 
Bayamo and Manzanillo attacked a force of a hundred 
Spaniards who were strongly entrenched near La Caridad. 
After a fight which lasted not over half an hour, the 
Spanish were dislodged from their trenches, and fled into 
a nearby wood. The Cubans followed, forcing the Span- 
iards into the open, and, after a brief engagement, put 
them to rout. One Spaniard was captured, and he gave 
information that the Spanish forces had lost seventeen 
men killed, and that in their flight they had thrown away 
their rifles, which were afterward recovered by the 
Cubans, who also took possession of a large amount of 
supplies of all kinds. 

The estate of La Indiana had been fortified by the 
Spaniards, and on August 4, General Gomez led an at- 
tack against it. The Spanish put up a strong resistance, 
but the Cubans were able to take the buildings, and cap- 
ture thirty-five Spaniards. The entire district of Guan- 
tanamo was at this time practically controlled by the 
insurgents. They destroyed fourteen coffee plantations, 
and did other damage to the property of Spanish sympa- 
thizers. On August 8, the Spaniards made an attack 
at El Macio, but it was unsuccessful. For the next week 
there was one engagement after another, with victory 
first with the Spaniards and then with the Cubans, but 
the results were not of moment to either of the belligerents. 
The Cubans were not able to marshal a sufficiently large 
or well equipped force to venture a decisive battle, and so 


kept up an annoying guerrilla warfare. Late in the 
month they advanced to the outskirts of Santiago, destroy- 
ing all plantations which lay along the line of march, and 
defeated the Volunteers in an unimportant engagement. 
Perhaps the most serious defeat that they inflicted on the 
Spanish at this time was the destruction of the fortified 
camp at Miguel, in the district of Sagua de Tanamo. 
Earlier in the month they had attacked and taken a forti- 
fied camp in the neighborhood of Santa Isabel. All the 
buildings were burned to the ground, twenty-six Volun- 
teers were killed, and a large quantity of stores was taken. 
There followed other engagements in which the odds and 
the victory were with the Spaniards, and the Cuban pa- 
triots were put to rout with heavy losses. But for the 
most part in guerrilla warfare the Cubans had the advan- 
tage and made the most of it. 

Late in August, a force under Major Villanueva and 
Captain Rios surprised some Spanish soldiers at break- 
fast near Malangas. The Spaniards largely outnum- 
bered the Cubans, but the attack was so sudden that they 
fled, leaving their rice and salted beef behind them. In 
this engagement eight Spaniards were killed. 

On the first day of September, news reached Major 
Noguera that the enemy were convoying a stock of sup- 
plies in the neighborhood where he was stationed. He 
divided his men and concealed them at different points 
along the road over which the Spaniards must pass. Six 
Volunteers and one regular soldier were killed, and the 
enemy abandoned to the Cubans a number of carts, filled 
with food stuffs, carbines, machetes, and other supplies. 

September 1 8 was to be a memorable day in the year's 
fighting, for on that date General Calixto Garcia with 
three regiments advanced against Jiguani, where a large 
force of Spaniards were garrisoned. The latter defended 


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One of the most gallant figures in the patriot ranks in the Ten 
Years' War and the War of Independence was that of Calixto 
Garcia e Iniguez. Born at Bayamo on August 4, 1839, he was in 
the prime of young manhood when he took the field under General 
Marmol in 1868. Soon as a brigadier general he was the right- 
hand man of Maximo Gomez, and was made by him commander 
in chief in Oriente when Gomez himself marched westward. After 
six years of almost incessant and victorious fighting, he was sur- 
prised and surrounded at San Antonio de Baja, when, rather than 
be captured, he placed the muzzle of a pistol in his mouth and fired. 
The bullet pierced the roof of his mouth and came out at the 
centre of his forehead. The Spaniards then took him to a mili- 
tary hospital and, respecting his valor, nursed him back to health. 
After the Treaty of Zanjon he was released, whereupon he took the 
lead in the Little War. He was in Spain in 1895 and could not 
get into the War of Independence until March, 1896, but there- 
after he was one of its chief warriors. After the close of the war 
he was sent to Washington on a diplomatic mission, and died there 

on December 11, 1898. 

' .hem at chfterent [ 

aiards must 

-Tf were killed, and the 
:is a number of cart 

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g, for oa that dat- vith 

ients sul- 



the town for two hours, but in the end the Cubans were 
victorious, and gained control of the major portion of the 
town and its fortifications. Many houses were burned, 
and two hundred Spaniards lay dead in the streets. Gen- 
eral Garcia then retreated, carrying with him a large 
quantity of captured supplies, since he did not have a 
large enough force to complete the occupation of Jiguani. 
He was pursued by the Spaniards who had been rein- 
forced, but the patriots made good their escape with only 
slight losses. 

Throughout the entire months of August and Septem- 
ber the eastern part of the island was in a constant state 
of uproar and confusion. Attack and counter-attack 
followed in succession, and yet neither side was any nearer 
a significant victory or a decision. 

On October 23, the Spaniards gained a victory over 
the Cubans at El Toro, and in November the insurgents 
turned the tables by defeating the Spanish forces under 
Captain Ferral y Mongs. So the war continued, the 
whole country witnessing the destruction of plantations, 
the burning of buildings, the pillaging of villages, and 
loss of life as well as of property. In the end it was the 
land of Cuba that suffered, for from a once prosperous 
country it bade fair to be transformed into waste lands. 

Meanwhile the Cuban forces were slowly degenerating. 
The Spaniards were well fed, well clothed and well 
equipped, while the Cuban forces were poorly armed, 
often hungry, and in torn and ragged garments. The 
resources of Spain reinforced her army, but the patriots 
had to rely on chance help that came to them from their 
American sympathizers. Nothing in their existence was 
certain, and as the war was prolonged without their gain- 
ing a victory which seemed to bring the end nearer, the 
weaker spirits began to despair and there was dissension 


and an undercurrent of revolt among the common sol- 
diers. In vain the leaders tried to put heart into their 
forces, and desertions became alarmingly common. The 
reductions in numbers compelled the Cuban leaders more 
and more to resort to guerrilla warfare. This involved 
deplorable destruction of property, valuable holdings of 
both loyalists and patriots were rendered valueless, and 
naturally the morale of both armies suffered from a spirit 
of lawlessness. By the end of 1871, two thirds of the 
farms and coffee and sugar plantations in the district of 
Trinidad were destroyed or abandoned, and the entire 
central portion of the island had suffered grievously. 

Valmaseda on December 27, 1871, issued a proclama- 
tion to the effect that after the first of the year every 
prisoner would be shot, and every patriot who delivered 
himself up would suffer life imprisonment. This ap- 
plied to both negroes and white men; while all white 
women captured would be banished, and all negro women 
would be returned to their owners, and condemned to wear 
chains for a period of four years. However, prior to that 
date, only if four days distant, the leaders or any of the 
soldiers would lay down their arms and announce their 
allegiance to Spain, they would be received with kindness 
and clemency. This might have had more effect than 
it did but for the fact that the Cubans were distrustful of 
promises of clemency, and feared that if they escaped the 
vengeance of the government, they would later suffer at 
the hands of the Volunteers. 


AT the beginning of 1872 the storm center of the in- 
surrection moved eastward to Puerto Principe, Santiago 
and Guantanamo. Engagements in the vicinity of these 
places had been frequent, and now they were almost 
daily consisting chiefly of little skirmishes between small 
forces of men. 

It was estimated that by this time Spain had sent to 
the island in the neighborhood of sixty thousand trained 
soldiers, but they had come few at a time, and on no occa- 
sion in larger numbers than two or three thousand. Evi- 
dently the Spanish Government had at no time properly 
estimated the strength, if not in numbers, at least in 
valor and determination of the insurgents, and had never 
realized that only by investing the island with overwhelm- 
ing superiority could they hope to put down the rebellion. 
However, during all this time Spain had been struggling 
against disturbances at home of no mean dimensions, and 
early in the year 1872 she was to endure another revo- 
lution, and the abdication of Amadeus, followed once 
more by a republican form of government. Records com- 
piled by both sides prove that the war continued during 
the year 1872 with the same persistence, unchanged in 
character, and apparently no nearer a decision. The 
Spanish government, both at home and abroad, seems to 
have suffered at this time from great apprehension that 
the United States government would officially recognize 
the Cubans as belligerents, in which event their position 
would be materially strengthened. In February Spain 

sent more troops to Cuba, at the request of Captain-Gen- 



eral Valmaseda, who accompanied his appeal by a state- 
ment for publication, and to impress the United States 
that the war would be over by April or May. 

March found the struggle continuing, and on March 5, 
General Cespedes himself, with a large body of Cuban 
troops, succeeded in taking Sagua de Tanamo by storm. 
In this same month aid came from the United States, for 
the steamer Edgar Stewart arrived with arms, ammuni- 
tion and supplies for the Cuban army. 

Small engagements took place all during April, and in 
May the Cuban leaders issued a statement to the effect 
that if Valmaseda was expecting that the war would soon 
be ended, he was not taking into consideration the strong 
resistance which the Cubans were still able to offer, and 
which they intended to continue until Spain granted them 
independence. Truly the war might end at once, but 
Spain would end it not by force of arms but by acceding 
to the frequently expressed desire of Cuba for complete 
separation from her rule, by withdrawing the offensive 
government, and by transporting her troops back to their 
native land. 

Early in June the Cubans defeated the Spaniards near 
Las Tunas, and on the 9th of that month, after heavy 
fighting, took Sama. The Cuban losses in these engage- 
ments were heavy in comparison with the number of men 
involved, but they were able to comfort themselves with 
the knowledge that the Spanish killed and wounded 
totaled a much greater number, for while the Cubans had 
only fifty killed and less than a hundred wounded, the 
Spanish left dying on the battle field more than four times 
as many as the Cubans, and their wounded amounted to 
three hundred and fifty. But the Spanish navy was able 
to capture an expedition bearing relief to the Cubans, and 
to defeat a band of patriots at Holguin, so that it would 


seem that the honors for the month were about equal. 

In July, General Garcia attacked Spanish troops under 
the Governor of the Province, Colonel Huertas, ami a very 
hot fight resulted, in which the victory fell to the Cubans ; 
and when Spanish reinforcements arrived, they too were 
routed and put to flight. But this was offset by the fact 
that General Inclan, one of the bravest and most loyal 
of the Cuban commanders, as well as an expert tactician, 
fell into the hands of the enemy, and was summarily exe- 
cuted at Puerto Principe. 

Count Valmaseda, Captain-General, now ran foul of 
the displeasure of the Volunteers, and suffered a downfall 
in consequence. On July 15 he was recalled, and Gen- 
eral Ceballos served in his place until the arrival of his 
successor, Don Joachim Jovellar. 

It now seemed time again for the Spaniards to assert 
themselves against defenseless sympathizers with the 
revolution. Spies were busily at work in Guira, Jiguani 
and Holguin, and presently they purported to discover 
grave disloyalty among the members of some of the well 
known Cuban families. This was the signal and the 
excuse for a wholesale slaughter of innocent unoffending 
people, who, whatever their feelings, had taken no active 
part in the uprising. As a means of reprisals the Cubans 
made an attack on Guira, but it was not entirely suc- 

The people of the United States were now following 
the insurrection with much interest, particularly in those 
portions of that country in which there were large num- 
bers of sympathizers, and they were no longer willing to 
ignore well authenticated reports of Spanish cruelty. A 
State Convention of the Republican party was held at 
Jacksonville, Florida, where there were many who were 
friendly to the Cuban patriots, and adopted a resolution, 


denouncing the action of the Spanish authorities in Cuba 
as cruel and inhuman, and calling upon Congress to pass 
the necessary legislation to make it possible for the United 
States government to extend such aid to the Cubans as 
"becomes a great and free republic, whose people so 
ardently sympathize with the struggles and hopes of the 
oppressed of all nations." However, the Government at 
Washington did not look with favor upon this suggestion, 
and ignored it, and it had little effect in stemming the 
tide of Spanish oppression in Cuba. 

The close of the year 1872 registered a splendid vic- 
tory for the patriots, when on December 20 they stormed 
and took Holguin, and captured large quantities of sup- 
plies of all kinds. 

Public documents compiled by the Spanish in August, 
1872, estimated the losses of the patriots up to that time 
as "thirteen thousand six hundred insurgents and a 
large number taken prisoner" while "sixty-nine thousand 
six hundred and forty were in submission to the govern- 
ment; four thousand eight hundred and forty-nine fire- 
arms, three thousand two hundred and forty-nine swords 
and bayonets, and nine thousand nine hundred and 
twenty-one horses were captured." 

When, in 1873, Spain once more became a republic, 
the Cuban patriots had high hopes that their independ- 
ence would be recognized, but these were soon dashed to 
the ground, when the Spanish government sent an appeal 
to the Cubans to lay down their arms, and to entrust their 
fortunes to the doubtful mercies of the new rulers of 
Spain, with the idea that Spain needed the co-operation 
of her colonies to bring about the permanence of the new 
government, which it was represented would result in a 
fair and equitable Spanish rule in Cuba. These over- 
tures were promptly rejected, and the patriots made prep- 


arations to continue their struggle, adhering with tenacity 
to their one goal, complete independence. The Spanish 
government then appealed to the Volunteers, but that was 
such an aristocratic organization that it had no sympathy 
with democracy, and no desire to ally itself too closely 
with a republican form of government; wherefore for 
once it refused to aid in coercing the patriots. 

New Year's day, 1873, was doubly a gala occasion, be- 
cause on that date another relief expedition arrived from 
the United States, which brought much needed supplies. 
The Cubans continued to harass the Spaniards, and on 
the occasion of one successful engagement captured a 
number of horses which were turned over to General 
Agramonte for his cavalry regiment. This was one of 
the best organized regiments in the army, and had done 
good work against the enemy, but it was soon to lose its 
leader, for in May, 1873, General Agramonte was killed 
while charging the enemy at Jimaguaya, and his com- 
mand was taken over by Major-General Maximo Gomez. 

Meantime another change was made in the head of the 
Spanish insular government, and Don Candido Pieltain 
succeeded to the office of Captain-General. 

But there was serious trouble among the leaders of the 
Republic of Cuba. No man in as high a position as that 
which General Cespedes occupied could escape exciting 
jealousy. The Cubans were actuated by high ideals and 
motives, but they were only human. Rumors derogatory 
to the administration of General Cespedes began to be 
circulated, and on October 27, 1873, the House of Repre- 
sentatives, assembled at Vijagual, preferred charges 
against him of having in the administration of his duties 
exceeded the powers which the Republic had conferred 
upon him. He was tried and found guilty, and removed 
from office. By this action, a great injustice was done 



to a man whose sole thought was the good of his country, 
and who had given his best endeavors in its service. His 
removal was a hard blow to the cause of the Republic, be- 
cause it gave the enemy notice of dissension among the 
patriots, placed the republican government in a bad light 
in the eyes of the rest of the world, and lost to the Cuban 
cause a loyal and efficient leader. General Cespedes ac- 
cepted without complaint the will of the Assembly, and 
took leave of his office, after delivering a very eloquent 

and convincing address, protest- 
ing his innocence of any thought 
of wrong. He was now in a del- 
icate position, for he was not in 
good standing with those with 
whom he had cast his lot, and a 
price had been set on his head by 
the Spaniards. He took refuge 
with a friend, and remained vir- 
tually in hiding, until on Febru- 
ary 27, 1874, he was betrayed by 
a negro who had been captured 
by the Spaniards and who sought 
their clemency by delivering Cespedes to them. He was 
taken prisoner and speedily executed by the garrote. 
The office of President was filled temporarily by Don 


The Marquis of Santa Lucia, patriot and statesman, was born in Cam- 
aguey on February 10, 1828, and from boyhood was an ardent advocate of 
Cuban independence. In early life he joined the Liberator Society of 
Camaguey, and because of his activities was arrested and confined for a 
time in Morro Castle. He was one of the leaders of the Ten Years' War 
from its beginning, participated in the making of the Constitution, and 
succeeded Cespedes as President of the Revolutionary government. Old 
as he was, he eagerly joined in the War of Independence and took part in 
several battles. He was a member of the Constitutional Assembly of 1895, 
and was elected President of the Republic in Arms, which office he held 
until October 10, 1898. Then he retired to private life, and died on Feb- 
ruary 28, 1914. 



Salvador Cisneros, Marquis de Santa Lucia, the Chair- 
man of the House, in the absence of the Vice-President of 
the Republic, who was temporarily out of the country. 
Cespedes had been the only one of the Cuban leaders who 
had really made a study of civil government, and who 
was thus qualified for the position of President. While 
Cisneros was a man of fine education, and great intelli- 
gence, he was neither a leader of men nor a wise adminis- 
trator, and the downfall of Cespedes marked the begin- 
ning of the end of the long struggle, and foreshadowed the 
final defeat of the Cubans. 

But now came an incident which for a time bade fair 
to bring the United States into the quarrel. There was a 
small side-wheel steamer called the Virginius which had 
for a long time been active in running the Spanish block- 
ade of the Cuban coast and in conveying reinforcements 
and contraband supplies to the insurgents. She was un- 
der the command of Captain Fry, an American citizen, 
and a veteran of the Civil War, in which he had served 
on the side of the Confederates. The vessel was manned 
by American and British seamen, and flew the American 
flag. In October, 1873, at Port au Prince, Captain Fry 
took on board his vessel five hundred Remington rifles, 
six hundred sabres, four hundred revolvers, and other 
arms and ammunition intended for the Cuban army. 
The steamer was well known to the Spanish navy, which 
had long been seeking to capture her. 

The end came on October 31. The Virgimus was 
hastening toward Cuba with her questionable cargo when 
off the south coast she was sighted by a Spanish cruiser, 
the Tornado, which had by curious coincidence, been 
built by the same builders as had the Virginius. Her 
captain recognized the Virginius and gave chase. Cap- 
tain Fry, who had been vainly trying to effect a landing 


with his supplies and his men, some of whom were going 
to Cuba to fight with the patriots, gave up the endeavor 
and endeavored to escape to British waters at Jamaica; 
but the Tornado soon overhauled the Virgimus and took 
her with her passengers and crew, numbering one hundred 
and seventy. When capture seemed inevitable, an at- 
tempt was made to dump the cargo overboard, but the 
Tornado captured the Virginius before this could be ac- 
complished. The vessel was taken to Santiago de Cuba, 
where four of the passengers were at once recognized by 
the authorities as officers in the revolutionary army, and 
were speedily sentenced to death. The official Spanish 
report of the execution was as follows : 

"Santiago de Cuba, Nov. 4, 1873. 

"To His Excellency, the Captain-General: 

"At six o'clock this morning, we shot in this city, for 
being traitors to their country, and for being insurgent 
chiefs, the following persons, styling themselves 'patriot 
generals' : Bernabe Varona, alias Barnbeta, General of 
Division ; Pedro Cespedes, Commanding General of Cien- 
fuegos; General Jesus Del Sol; and Brigadier-General 
Washington Ryan. The executions took place in the 
presence of the entire corps of Volunteers, the force of 
regular infantry, and the sailors from the fleet. An im- 
mense concourse of people also witnessed the act. The 
best of order prevailed. The prisoners met their death 
with composure." 

There followed a summary court martial of the re- 
mainder of the company ; conducted according to the ruth- 
less Spanish fashion, and under the domination of the 
implacable Volunteers. The result was that Captain Fry 
and forty-eight of the crew and passengers, including a 
number of Americans and Englishmen, were sentenced 
to death. The sentence was promptly executed, despite 


the earnest and urgent official protests of the American 
and British consuls of Havana and their demands for at 
least a decent delay of proceedings to enable them to con- 
sult their governments and to have interviews with the 
condemned men. In fact, the American consul was pre- 
vented from doing anything more than to protest by being 
made a virtual prisoner in his own house, under a strong 
guard of Spanish soldiers ; under the pretence that in the 
excited state of public feeling it would be unsafe for him 
to go upon the street. 

The tragedy began on the afternoon of November 7, 
at 4 o'clock. The scene was the chief public square of 
Santiago. It was ordered that the victims should be shot 
in groups of four; all the others being compelled to wit- 
ness the fate of their fellows. As on the former occasion, 
a great company of the Volunteers attended the butchery, 
together with a multitude of the populace. In the first 
group of four was Captain Fry himself. He refused to 
have his eyes bandaged, or to turn his back to his slayers, 
and with his latest breath spoke words of comfort and 
cheer to his comrades. The other victims of that day's 
slaughter were James Flood, mate; J. C. Harris, John N. 
Boza, B. P. Chamberlain, William Rose, Ignacio Duefias, 
Antonio Deloyo, Jose Manuel Ferran, Ramon La Wa- 
mendi, Eusebio Gariza, Edward Day, Francisco S. Tru- 
jillo, Jack Williamson, Porfirio Corbison, Pedro Alfaro, 
Thomas Gregg, Frank Good, Paul Plumer, Barney 
Hewals, Samuel Card, John Brown, Alfred Hosell, W. F. 
Price, George Thomas, Ezekiel Durham, Thomas W. 
Williams, Simeon Brown, Leopold Larose, A. Arcey, 
John Stewart, Henry Bond, George Thomson, James 
Samuel, Henry Frank, and James Read 35 men beside 
the Captain. More than two-thirds of them were obvi- 
ously, judging from their names, Americans or English- 


men. It is probable, however, that many of these names, 
as also those of the passengers, were assumed, in order 
to conceal the identity of their bearers in just such an 
emergency as this. 

The next day, November 8, the massacre was continued, 
the victims of that day being Arturo Mola, Francisco 
Mola, Louis Sanchez (who was in fact Herminio Que- 
sada, an active revolutionist), Jose Bortel, Augustin Va- 
rona, Salvador Pinedo, Enrique Castellanos, Joseph 
Otero, Francisco Rivera (otherwise Augustin Santa Rosa, 
an active patriot), Oscar Varona, Justus Consuegra, and 
William S. Vails 12 in all; making with the 35 and the 
Captain of the day before, and the four of November 4, 
the total of 52. But even this wholesale slaughter did 
not appease the blood-lust of the Volunteers, or of Gen- 
eral Burriel, the Spanish commander at Santiago. 
Ninety-three more of the passengers of the Virginius were 
held in prison under sentence of death, which there was 
every reason to fear would be executed. 

But a militant Providence intervened. The British 
government learned of what had been done, and of what 
was threatened. In consequence, as quickly as engines 
under forced draught could drive her thither, the British 
cruiser Niobe sped to Santiago harbor. She entered the 
inner harbor, rounded broadside to the city, and double- 
shotted her guns. Then her captain, the intrepid Sir 
Lambton Lorraine, went ashore and demanded of Gen- 
eral Burriel that there should be no more murders. That 
worthy protested that it was no affair of Sir Lambton's, 
since there were no British subjects among the men. This 
latter statement was false, though Sir Lambton did not 
know it, and may have thought it true. But Sir Lambton 
knew his business. He curtly replied that the national- 
ity of the prisoners did not enter into his consideration of 

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an : 


Cuba is world-famed for its land-locked harbors, described as 
bottle-shaped, or purse-shaped, with a narrow but deep entrance 
leading to a spacious inland lagoon, secure from storms and af- 
fording room for vast fleets to ride at anchor. One of the largest 
and finest of these is at the old capital, Santiago; so large that a 
scene upon its waters appears like one on the open Caribbean. It 
was from this harbor that Admiral Cervera's fleet emerged to be 
destroyed in the great sea fight which broke the power of Spain in 

ad den 

that it was no affair of 

>cts among the u 

it the r, 


the affair; he was there to stop the butchery, and the 
butchery must stop. The Spanish general retorted hotly 
that he was not yet under British rule, and that until he 
was he would take his orders from the Captain-General 
of Cuba. To that Sir Lambton replied that as for him, 
he took his orders from the Queen of England, at whose 
command the Niobe lay in the harbor with her guns 
double-shotted and trained on the city, the biggest of 
them, indeed, aimed at the governor's palace; and he 
gave warning that the slaying of another prisoner would 
be the irrevocable signal for every gun to be put into 
action. It was enough. There were no more shootings ; 
and presently all the prisoners were released. 

Following is a list of the captured passengers on the 
Virginius, who were bound to Cuba for the purpose of 
serving in the revolution. It does not include those who 
were bound for the island on legitimate personal busi- 
ness, but does include those already mentioned as having 
been put to death : 
Bernabe Varona (alias Pedro Pajain 


Pedro Cespedes Manuel Padron 

Arturo Mola Alexandro Cruz Estrada 

Jose Diaz Felix Fernandez 

Francisco de Porras Juan Soto 

Juan Merrero Manuel Perez 

Jose Medeo Jose Otero 

Raimundo Pardo Jose Antonio Ramon 

Francisco Gonzales Radom Barrios 

Jose Palaez Ignacio Valdes 

Leonardo Alvarez Jose Santesteban 

Julio Arango Felix Morejon 

Jose Hernandez Francisco Pacheco 

Nicholas Ramirez Evaristo Sungunegri 



Ignacio Quentin Baltran 
Perfecto Bello 
Benito Glodes 
Louis Sanchez 
Nicholas Reriz 
Juan Alvarado 
Jose Boitel 
Ricardo Calvo 
Augustin Varona 
Silverio Salas 
Domingo Salazar 
Justus Consuegra 
Jose Ignacio Lamar 
Andres Acosta 
Benjamin Olazara 
Enrique Castellanos 
Alejandro Calvo 
Jesus de Sol 
Leon Bernal 
Rafael Cabrera 
Ignacio W. Tapia 
Santiago Rivera 
Andres Echeverria 
Jose Maren 
Pedro Saez 
Severe Mendive 
Enrique Ayala 
Domingo Rodrigue 
Arturo Rivero 
William S. Vails 
Manuel Menenses 
General Ryan 
William Curtis 
S. Gray 

Ramon Gonzalez 
Antonio Chacon 
Francisco Rivero 
Sireno Otero 
Carlos Pachero 
Antonio Padilla 
Enrico Canals 
Indalecio Trujillo 
Domingo Diaz 
Carlos Gonzalez 
Oscar Varona 
Alfredo Lopez 
Andres Villa 
Francisco Castillo 
Salvador Penedo 
Rafael Pacheco 
Camito Guerra 
Camilo Sanz 
Emilio Garcia 
Amador Rosello 
Manuel A. Silverio 
Antonio Gomez 
Luiz Martinez 
Pedro Sariol 
Miguel Saya 
Patricio Martinez 
Manuel Saumel 
Luis Rebollo 
Carlos Manin 
Ramon R. D. Armas 
Joseph A. Smith 
Philip Abecaler 
Samuel Hall 
Sidney Robertson 


George Winter William Marshall 

Evan Pento George Burke 

Ricardo Trujillo Gil Montero 
Leopoldo Rizo 

These occurrences, when known, aroused tremendous 
excitement and wrath in the United States, and there 
was much talk of war. But the government, under the 
wise counsel of Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State, kept 
its head and resorted to diplomacy before force. The 
Spanish government, too, kept its head. It realized that 
its officers in Cuba had acted outrageously, and that their 
deeds must be disavowed. So it agreed, on December 8, 
to -surrender the Virginius on December 16, to release all 
surviving passengers and sailors and deliver them safely 
to an American warship at Santiago, and to punish all 
Spanish officials who had acted illegally. There re- 
mained the supposed outrage to the American flag, which 
the Virginius was flying when she was fired upon and 
seized. The Spanish government agreed to make amends 
by saluting the American flag at Santiago on Christmas 
Day, provided it could be proved that the Virginius had 
a right to carry it. But as a matter of fact the vessel had 
no such right. The Attorney-General of the United 
States gave, before the day set for the salute, the opinion 
that the vessel was the property of General Quesada and 
other Cubans, and therefore had no right to sail under 
the American flag. The final settlement of the affair oc- 
curred in February, 1875, when the Spanish government 
paid an indemnity of $80,000 to the United States, and a 
smaller sum to Great Britain, for their citizens who had 
been slaughtered. The Virginius was lost at sea while 
being returned to the United States. 

Meanwhile the patriots had not ceased fighting, and on 
November 9 they met the Spaniards in a battle in which 


a large force was engaged on both sides. They were 
equally matched, each belligerent having about three 
thousand men in the field. The Cubans were victorious, 
and they lost only a hundred men killed and double that 
number wounded, while the Spanish losses were four times 
as many killed, and six hundred wounded. 

Stories of Spanish cruelty to prisoners and to peaceful 
citizens continued to be heard, and the Cubans were not 
content to allow these to remain unsubstantiated. In 
1873, Cuban sympathizers compiled a statement which 
they called "The Book of Blood." In some manner they 
gained access to Spanish records, and used not their own 
personal knowledge but the official reports of the Span- 
iards themselves as a basis for their accusations. The 
acts complained of were not confined to one year, but 
covered the administrations as Captain-General of Ler- 
sundi, Dulce, Rodas, Ceballos, Pieltain and Jovellar. 
There was almost no comment ; simply a plain statement 
of facts. The book commences with the names of three 
thousand nine hundred and twenty-seven persons, exclu- 
sive of men killed in battle, who had been brutally mur- 
dered by the Spaniards. The dates and places of execu- 
tion are given, so that there can be no mistake as to the 
accuracy of the data. Following this is a list of four 
thousand six hundred and seventy-two prisoners, cap- 
tured by the Spaniards, who had simply dropped out of 
sight, and whose fate had never been determined. Next 
there is a record of one hundred and ninety-one men who 
had been garrotted. There are the names of eighty-four 
men who had been court-marti ailed in accordance with 
the decree of February 12, 1869, and under orders from 
the Captain-General; then the names of five men con- 
demned for life to hard labor in the chain gang of the 
penal colony of Ceuta ; the names of five others who had 


been given the same sentence for a period of ten years, 
twenty sentenced for eight years, and one for six years. 
After this is a list of men condemned to the chain gang, 
place unknown, five for ten years, two for eight years, 
seventeen for six years, three for four years, and one hun- 
dred and fifty-eight from two to eight years. Then comes 
a list of two hundred and fifty men from all walks of 
life, including superintendents of plantations, attorneys 
at law, brokers, bankers, one architect, clergymen, car- 
penters, druggists, engineers, farmers, masons, military 
officers, notaries, Post Office clerks, railroad clerks, one 
British Consul, three dentists, several police officers, sur- 
veyors, pilots, students, shoemakers, silversmiths, physi- 
cians, an artist, seventeen property holders, seven teach- 
ers, five tobacco manufacturers, a tailor, fifteen sailors, 
musicians, boatmen, sugar makers, journeymen, and even 
one schoolboy, who had been transported on May 21, 
1869, to the island of Fernando Po, off the coast of Africa. 
They were reported to have been badly treated; so badly 
in fact that forty-seven died on the voyage or immediately 
on landing. Besides this there is a report of forty-four 
men transported to the penal colonies of Africa. 

A defense is made against the charge that the Cubans 
had during the war been no more merciful than the Span- 
iards. It was claimed that during the first years of the 
war, when a number of officers had been captured by the 
patriots, they were not executed, but were placed under 
parole not to attempt to escape. They broke their parole, 
and in return for the merciful conduct of their former 
captors they became the most violent and brutal of all the 
Spanish officials in their persecution of the Cubans. On 
the other hand, when men of Spanish birth approached 
the patriots expressing sympathy for their cause, and a 
desire to fight for independence, their services were ac- 


cepted and in every instance they proved to be spies, who 
furnished the Spanish leaders with valuable information 
and delivered their Cuban comrades into the hands of the 
enemy. It was alleged that up to August, 1869, the 
Cuban leaders adhered to their policy of fair and decent 
treatment of their captives, and when they learned of the 
brutal conduct of the Spaniards, General Quesada ad- 
dressed a message to General Lesca, and endeavored to 
effect a mutual agreement on the subject. The reply re- 
ceived declared that the Spaniards saw no reason to de- 
part from their custom in the matter of this and left the 
Cubans no alternative but to resort to similar measures. 
General Quesada therefore ordered the execution of sixty- 
seven persons who had voluntarily taken up arms under 
the Cuban banner, and who had later been apprehended 
in a conspiracy to betray the patriots. It is stated that 
the report of the affairs erroneously added an extra 
numeral to the figures, which caused the number to be 
stated as six hundred and seventy. 

In proof of the truth of the statements contained in the 
"Book of Blood," an account from the Spanish journal 
"Diario de la Marina," under date of March 24, 1870, 
is cited: 

"All the officers, sergeants and corporals who were in 
the hands of the enemy have been shot. In connection 
with many Cubans they had planned a counter-revolution, 
and had concerted the delivery of all rebel chieftains to 
General Puello. Two days before the one appointed by 
this gallant general to commence his march, he sent a 
messenger to Captain Troyano with the news of his ad- 
vance. The bearer of the news was arrested, however, 
and searched, the letter was found, and on the following 
day, the messenger, our officers, and the Cubans compro- 
mised in the counter-revolution, were shot, thus sealing 


with their lives their devotion to their beloved mother 

This seems to be an ample corroboration of the fact that 
the men in question were shot as traitors and not as pris- 
oners of war. Another Spanish officer, Don Domingo 
Graino, a Captain of the Volunteers, under date of Sep- 
tember 23, 1869, writes: 

"More than three hundred spies and conspirators are 
shot monthly in this jurisdiction. Myself alone with my 
band have already disposed of nine." 

We have also this testimony from Jesus Rivacoba, an 
officer of the Volunteers: 

"We captured seventeen, thirteen of whom were shot 
outright ; on dying they shouted, 'Hurrah for Free Cuba ! ' 
A mulatto said, 'Hurrah for Cespedes ! ' On the follow- 
ing day we killed a Cuban officer, and another man. 
Among the thirteen that we shot the first day were found 
three sons and their father; the father witnessed the exe- 
cution of his sons without even changing color, and when 
his turn came he said he died for the independence of his 
country. On coming back we brought along with us 
three carts filled with women and children, the families 
of those we had shot; and they asked us to shoot them, 
because they would rather die than live among Span- 

Still another officer of the Volunteers, Pedro Fardon, 

"Not a single Cuban will remain in this island, be- 
cause we shoot all those we find in the fields, on the farms, 
and in every hovel. 

"We do not leave a creature alive when we pass, be it 
man or animal. If we find cows we kill them; if horses, 
ditto; if hogs, ditto; men, women and children, ditto; as 
to the houses, we burn them; so everyone receives his due 


the men in balls, the animals in bayonet-thrusts. The 
island will remain a desert." 

At the end of the year, the forces under General 
Maximo Gomez were victorious over those under the 
Spanish General Bascones, in the district of Camaguey, 
while the fortified town of Manzanillo was on November 
1 1 taken by storm and occupied by troops under General 
Garcia. The Cubans lost forty-nine killed and eighty 
wounded, while the Spaniards lost two hundred killed and 
one hundred and thirty wounded. On December 2, the 
battle of Palo Seco occurred. Seven hundred patriots 
under General Gomez were arrayed against a thousand 
Spaniards. A lively fight took place, and the Spaniards 
were put to flight in such disorder that they abandoned 
their wounded, their arms and their impediments. They 
lost several officers and two hundred common soldiers, 
while the Cubans captured seventeen officers, one of them 
being a Lieutenant-Colonel. The Cuban casualties were 
small in comparison, being ninety killed and one hundred 
and six wounded. Among the stores left behind by the 
fleeing Spaniards were twelve revolvers, sixteen thousand 
five hundred cartridges, two hundred and fifty Remington 
rifles, eighty horses, and thirty mules, their packs contain- 
ing ammunition, clothing and a small amount of money. 


AT the beginning of the year 1874 a coup d'etat placed 
Serrano again at the head of the government in Spain, 
but in Cuba there was no change. The struggle was still 
continued. The first battle of the year was on a larger 
scale than the majority of those which had preceded it. 
At Naranjo, on January 4, two thousand Cubans under 
General Gomez were victorious over four thousand Span- 
iards, and the Cuban losses were slight in comparison 
with those of the enemy. Again, at Corralillo, on Janu- 
ary 8, the Cubans scored a triumph, and on the next day 
a third victory was achieved at Los Melones by the forces 
of General Garcia. 

Don Joachim Jovellar, the Captain-General, declared 
the island to be in a state of siege, and in a bold but 
hardly successful attempt to swell the Spanish forces pro- 
claimed a conscription of all men from twenty to forty 
years old, and exacted the payment of a thousand dol- 
lars in gold in lieu of compliance with this decree. He 
antagonized the Volunteers, who considered themselves 
of much finer quality than the Spanish common soldiers, 
by demanding that one-tenth of their number be allotted 
to and placed under the command of the regular army. 
The Volunteers resisted this order, and made an attempt 
to secure Jovellar's removal from office, but were unsuc- 
cessful, and he continued to take the most extraordinary 
measures, stating that he would summarily put down 
the rebellion; and yet the fighting steadily continued. 

General Portillo was considered one of the most able 

of the Spanish officers, and it was expected that he would 



be able to inflict great losses on the insurgents, hence the 
Spanish leaders were greatly chagrined when he went 
down in defeat at the hands of General Gomez, who then 
proceeded to administer a like chastisement to the forces 
under General Arminan, who had taken up his position 
at Guasimas, and who was forced to make his escape to 
Puerto Principe, abandoning his command, all of whom 
were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. In all the his- 
tory of the war no such victory had ever before been won. 
The battle had raged for three days and nights, and at 
its inception General Arminan had been at the head of an 
army of three thousand men. When the Spaniards had 
heard how Arminan was faring, they had sent General 
Bascones to the rescue, but he never got through to aid 
Arminan, for he was routed by the Cubans while on his 

Jovellar was a little less confident, after these occur- 
rences, that it would be a simple matter to put down the 
rebellion. He seems to have lacked the quality of reso- 
lute perseverance, and when matters were against him he 
resigned his office, and again Don Jose de la Concha re- 
turned to take charge of Spanish affairs in Cuba. Now 
Concha had been persona non grata with the Volunteers 
and he was not received by them with great enthusiasm. 
He began at once upon assuming office to take the force 
out of the decrees promulgated by Jovellar, by greatly 
modifying their terms, and promising freedom to all 
blacks who would serve in the army for a period of five 

In April, 1874, Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State, 
made public announcement in Washington that during 
the five years of the war the Spanish losses had totaled 
more than eighty thousand men and officers, a large num- 
ber of these casualties being due to sickness caused by 


unsanitary conditions, while Spain had spent over one 
hundred million dollars in her ineffective efforts to put 
down the revolution. He further stated that it did not 
appear that she was likely to accomplish this speedily, 
since the revolutionary government seemed quite as pow- 
erful and as active as in the beginning. 

The history of the year 1875 was one of unimportant 
engagements, small skirmishes and guerrilla warfare, no 
important battle being fought until the year had about 
reached its close, when Gomez suffered a severe defeat at 
Puerto Principe, which is believed to have been the turn- 
ing of the tide against the Cubans. Meanwhile the 
United States began to display a strong interest in Cuban 

On November 5, 1875, a letter was sent by the State 
Department to Caleb Gushing, then United States min- 
ister to Madrid, containing the following information, 
intended, of course, as admonition to the Spanish gov- 
ernment : 

"In the absence of any prospect of a termination of the 
w r ar, or of any change in the manner in which it has been 
conducted on either side, the President feels that the time 
is at hand when it may be the duty of other governments 
to intervene, solely with a view of bringing to an end a 
disastrous and destructive conflict, and of restoring peace 
in the island of Cuba. No government is more deeply 
interested in the order and peaceful administration of 
this island than is the United States, and none has suf- 
fered as the United States from the condition which has 
obtained there during the past six or seven years. He 
will, therefore, feel it his duty at an early day to sub- 
mit the subject in this light, and accompanied by an ex- 
pression of the views above presented, for the considera- 
tion of Congress." 


For some strange reason, Mr. Fish seemed to have lost 
his usual cool wisdom ; for he went perilously near to ig- 
noring the Monroe Doctrine, so sacred to all the tradi- 
tions of American diplomacy, when he directed that a 
copy of this letter be forwarded to General Robert C. 
Schenck, the United States Minister at London, directing 
him to ask for the support of Great Britain in his 

Following this action of his Secretary of State, Presi- 
dent Grant, in his message to Congress in December, 
1875, said: "The past year has furnished no evidence 
of an approaching termination of the ruinous conflict 
which has been raging for seven years in the neighboring 
island of Cuba. While conscious that the insurrection 
has shown a strength and endurance which made it at 
least doubtful whether it be in the power of Spain to sub- 
due it, it seems unquestionable that no such civil or- 
ganization exists which may be recognized as an inde- 
pendent government capable of performing its interna- 
tional obligations and entitled to be treated as one of the 
powers of the earth." 

The Spanish government was very wrathful when these 
facts became known to it and at once sent a note to Great 
Britain claiming that the United States had no reason to 
bewail the Cuban situation, for on account of it her com- 
mer.ce had increased; that Spanish had had under the 
most jealous and watchful care, as regards the safety 
of their person and property, all American citizens who 
were engaged in business ventures on the island, and that 
most of them were making huge fortunes. A complaint 
was made that the United States gave refuge to Cuban 
outlaws, and it was alleged that all past claims of the 
United States growing out of the Cuban difficulty had 
been or were about to be settled. 


However, Great Britain refused to have anything to 
do with an attempt, in conjunction with the United States, 
to end the Cuban war, stating that it was doubtful 
whether Spain would accept any terms that could be 
offered, and that if she refused, Great Britain did not 
feel willing to bring pressure to bear. 

Spain, in a note dated February 3, 1876, intimated 
that the reason why a settlement of the insurrection in 
Cuba had not been effected was because the insurgents 
would not come out into the open and fight, but preferred 
to wage a guerrilla warfare from mountain fastnesses; 
that could they be lured into the open, Spain had a suffi- 
cient force in the field promptly to defeat them. It was 
further intimated that the Creoles were tiring of the in- 
surrection and that it was now being supported mainly by 
negroes, mulattoes, Chinese laborers, adventurers, and 
deserters from the Spanish army. Finally the assertion 
was made that when Spain was finally victorious, as it 
<vas assumed that she would be, she would at once abol- 
ish slavery, and put into effect the most liberal of admin- 
istrative reforms. 

In strange contradictions of these pretensions, Spain 
presently looked to the United States Government to 
mediate in the affairs of Cuba, and early in the year 1876 
asked that it attempt to bring about an understanding 
with the insurgents. Hamilton Fish, who was still Sec- 
retary of State, replied, stating plainly the points which 
the United States considered essential for the establish- 
ment of peace, law and order in distressed Cuba : 

"1 The mutual and reciprocal observance of treaty 
obligations, and a full, friendly and liberal understand- 
ing and interpretation of all doubtful treaty provisions, 
wherever doubt or question may exist. 

"2 Peace, order, and good government in Cuba which 


involves prompt and effective measures to restore peace, 
and the establishment of a government suited to the spirit 
and necessities of the age, liberal in its provisions, 
wherein justice can be meted out to all alike, according 
to denned and well-established provisions. 

"3 Gradual but effectual emancipation of slaves. 

"4 Improvement of commercial facilities and the re- 
moval of the obstructions now existing in the way of 
trade and commerce." 

The Spanish government replied on April 16, making 
a specific answer to each point made by the United 
States : 

"1 The government of his majesty is in entire con- 
formity as regards complying for its part with all the 
stipulations of the existing treaties, and giving to them 
a perfect, friendly and liberal interpretation in all that 
which may be the subject of doubt or question. 

"2 The government of the king likewise proposes, be- 
cause it believes it necessary, to change in a liberal sense 
the regime hitherto followed in the island of Cuba, not 
only in its administration but also in its political part. 

"3 Not merely gradual and genuine, but rapid eman- 
cipation of the slaves, because the government of his maj- 
esty recognizes and unreservedly proclaims that slavery 
neither can nor ought to be maintained in any of its 
dominions, by reason of its being an anti-Christian insti- 
tution and opposed to present civilization. 

"4 The government of the king finds itself in com- 
plete accord not only as to increasing but as to extend- 
ing to the furthest possible limit all commercial facilities, 
and causing the disappearance of all the obstacles which 
today exist, and which hinder the rapid and free course 
of commercial negotiations." 

The United States made no further attempts at inter- 


vention, and for the time being the matter was dropped. 

During the year which followed, 1877, more and more 
the Cuban methods of warfare merited the description 
which Spain had given of them. It became a war of ex- 
termination, rather than battle for independence. Ces- 
pedes, Quesada, Agramonte, and many other of the orig- 
inal leaders had died in battle, or had been captured 
and murdered by the enemy. Foreigners, who knew 
nothing of early ideals, and indeed little of early strug- 
gles, had largely replaced the great Cuban patriots, and 
their idea was not so much separation from Spain and 
conquest of the enemy as plunder. Property was no 
longer respected, the once prosperous island was fast 
becoming desolate, and on every hand deserted and 
ruined plantations were covered with weeds, where once 
had been wide cultivated fields. The insurgents were a 
motley array of men, of many races, and of varied color, 
yellow Chinese, and all shades of mulattoes, with only 
a small proportion of Creoles. The bands were now 
composed principally of marauders, who destroyed ev- 
erything that they could not steal. Their victory no 
longer meant a triumph for democracy, and the estab- 
lishment of a liberal government where there was now an 
oppressive one, but rather it would be a menace to civ- 
ilization, hostile to all ideals of law and order. 

The constitution of Spain's army at this period is re- 
ported to have been two hundred and seventy-three su- 
perior officers ; three thousand and fifty-four subalterns ; 
sixty-eight thousand one hundred and fifteen privates, 
with an equipment of eight thousand four hundred and 
seventy-eight horses ; four hundred and sixty-two mules ; 
forty-two field guns, and plenty of small arms and am- 
munition. The men were properly clothed, and well fed. 
Notwithstanding the confusion of the Carlist uprising, 


Spain had been able to send over, during the first year 
of King Alfonso's reign, twenty-four thousand, four 
hundred and forty-five soldiers, while her naval force 
included forty-five vessels, equipped with one hundred 
and thirty-two guns, and manned by two thousand four 
hundred and twenty-six men. Besides this, over ten 
thousand men were on the high seas to reinforce the 
Spanish army. The disorganized, ragged, weary, badly 
fed Cuban forces, with the lawless element which now 
unhappily predominated among them had small chance 
of victory against such overwhelming odds. Nothing 
but the natural topography of the country, so favorable 
to guerrilla warfare, and the knowledge which the na- 
tives had of its mountain strongholds, had enabled the 
Cuban army to prolong thus far the war. The only 
thing which had saved the island from entire economic 
destruction was the fact that the belligerents had not in- 
vaded the western provinces, and their inhabitants had 
been free to plant and reap and conduct their lives in an 
orderly fashion. 

The expenses of the war had made heavy inroads on 
the Spanish treasury, and in August of this year, the 
Spanish capitalists had contributed nearly twenty-five 
thousand pesetas toward the expenses of the army in 
Cuba. As the season advanced, troop ships arrived at 
regular intervals. In October, General Martinez 
Campos one of the ablest soldiers and statesmen in 
Spain was appointed Captain-General of Cuba and 
commander of the army, and he sailed from Spain to 
take over his command, accompanied by fourteen thou- 
sand men. Determined that the revolution should once 
for all be terminated, and not content with the sum which 
Spain's bankers had placed at her disposal, the Span- 
ish Cortes passed a bill providing for a foreign loan, 


which would be devoted to the suppression of the in- 

The beginning of the year 1877 thus saw the cause 
of liberty in a precarious condition. The Cuban army 
had been so greatly weakened that in the encounters 
which took place the Spaniards were constantly victor- 
ious, and they were soon able to regain the major por- 
tion of the territory which had previously been occupied 
by the revolutionists. The time seemed favorable for a 
settlement of the difficulties in a manner which, while 
offering a few concessions to the Cubans, might still be 
greatly to the advantage of Spain. To the Captain- 
General this seemed the proper occasion for some nice 
diplomacy, for coaxing with fair words instead of coerc- 
ing with violence. He therefore on May 5 issued a 
proclamation which he felt would be effective in induc- 
ing the revolutionists to abandon the struggle and to re- 
turn to the doubtful protection of allegiance to Span- 
ish rule. His proclamation read as follows : 

"Article I From the date of this decree, all orders 
of banishment decreed gubernatively by this Govern- 
ment for political motives are hereby rescinded, and all 
proceedings now under way regarding the same are 
hereby overruled. 

"Article II The embargoes imposed gubernatively 
on insurgents who have presented or may present them- 
selves for pardon before the termination of the war 
shall also be raised. There will, however, be excepted 
from the favor of disembargo the property of backslid- 
ing insurgents and that of the leaders of the insurrection, 
in respect to which this General Government will adopt 
the measure it deems most convenient, according to the 
special circumstances of each case. 

"Article III The property, embargoed gubernatively, 


of the disloyal ('infidentes') who have since died, shall 
also be released from embargo, and delivered unto their 
lawful heirs, if these remain faithful to the Spanish 

"Article IV The property referred to in the two pre- 
ceding articles once returned, its owners or holders shall 
not sell, assign, transfer or burden it in any manner until 
two years after the official publication of the complete 
pacification of the island. 

"Article V The proceeds of property before its re- 
turn shall be considered as applied toward the expenses 
of the war, unless otherwise provided for, and its own- 
ers without any right to make reclamation of any nature 

"Article VI None of those whose property has been 
released from embargo shall either have the right to 
make reclamation for any loss or injury that may have 
been suffered by the property or object returned them. 

"Article VII To assist as far as possible in the re- 
turn of said property, this Government will authorize 
the Governors and Lieutenant-Governors of the island 
to effect the same in each case, to those comprised in this 
decree, whose property is situated within their respective 
jurisdictions, with the due precautions which shall be 
communicated to them from the office of the Secretary of 
the General Government. 

"Article VIII The judicial proceedings actually un- 
der way against mfidentes shall be forwarded until over- 
ruled, or judged, as may result in law. 

"Article IX Concerning the property adjudged to the 
State, by sentence of competent tribunals, his Majesty's 
Government will decide in due time whatever it may 
deem most convenient. 

"Article X The requisite orders shall be issued 


through the office of the Secretary of this General Gov- 
ernment, that the foregoing articles shall be duly com- 
plied with by whom it may concern." 

Seven months later, on November 3, he promulgated a 
second decree providing "that all estates ruined during 
the war, and in the way of reconstruction, shall be free 
from contributions for five years, from the date of the 
decree. Every new state and all new property acquired 
in cities or villages of the central and oriental depart- 
ments will have the same privilege. All industries and 
commerce in said departments newly established will be 
exempt for three years from contributions. All female 
cattle, either Spanish or foreign, imported into Cuba with 
the exclusive object of raising stock, will be duty free 
for two years." 

The first decree had the desired effect. A number of 
the Cuban leaders surrendered in October, 1877. It is 
true that when some of these men attempted to return 
to the Cuban lines and persuade the other officers to 
join them in submission to Spanish authority, they were 
tried by court-martial and sentenced. But the tide had 
turned, and was now steadily flowing favorably for the 
Spaniards. The war was over. Cuban independence 
had once more been postponed. 

Negotiations were entered into at Zanjon, in which 
General Maximo Gomez represented the Cubans, and 
Captain-General Campos the Spanish government. On 
February 15, 1878, the so-called Treaty of Zanjon was 
signed ; its terms being in brief as follows : 

"Article I The political, organic and administrative 
laws enjoyed by Porto Rico shall be established in Cuba. 

"Art. II Free pardon for all political offenses com- 
mitted from 1868 to date, and freedom for those who 
are under indictment or are serving sentences within or 


without the island. Amnesty to all deserters from the 
Spanish army, regardless of nationality, this clause be- 
ing extended to include all those who have taken part 
directly or indirectly in the revolutionary movement. 

"Art. Ill Freedom for the Asiatic coolies and for the 
slaves who may be in the insurgent ranks. 

"Art. IV No individual who by virtue of this cap- 
itulation shall submit to and remain under the authority 
of the Spanish government shall be compelled to render 
any military service before peace be established over the 
whole territory. 

"Art. V Every individual who by virtue of this cap- 
itulation may wish to depart from the island shall be 
permitted to do so, and the Spanish government shall 
provide him with the means therefor, without passing 
through any town or settlement, if he so desire. 

"Art. VI The capitulation of each force shall take 
place in uninhabited spots, where beforehand the arms 
and ammunition of war shall be deposited. 

"Art. VII In order to further the acceptance, by the 
insurgents of the other departments of these articles of 
capitulation, the commander-in-chief of the Spanish 
army shall furnish them free transportation, by land and 
sea, over all the lines within his control of the Central 

"Art. VIII This pact with the Committee of the Cen- 
tral Department shall be deemed to have been made with 
all the departments of the island which may accept the 

In addition to this, there were reported to have been 
secret agreements, which provided for "a civil governor 
with duties distinct from those of a military governor; 
a provincial parliament in each of the three departments ; 
popular elections for municipal officers; the inclusion 


of the war debt in the public estimates of the island ; the 
dissolution of the Volunteer Corps of Havana, and the 
organization of a new militia to be composed alike of 
Cubans and Spaniards ; a representation of the island in 
the Cortes; a recognition of the military rank of the in- 
surgent chiefs and officers, and those accredited with 
foreign commissions, their rank 'to be effective only in 
the list of the Spanish army in Cuba,' and the complete 
abolition of slavery in five years, with indemnity." 

Both parties disregarded the terms of the treaty. 
Doubtless the Cubans would have played with entire 
fairness, had it not been for the fact that the Spaniards 
at once demonstrated that they did not intend to keep 
their promises. General Garcia retained the title of 
"President of the Republic," and the House of Repre- 
sentatives continued, until 1869, to meet somewhere in 
the wilderness. General Campos made a bid for popu- 
lar favor, and went on record as advocating a peace 
which would be lasting. The Spaniards had good cause 
not to desire resumption of warfare, and the Cubans were 
too worn out to start any serious trouble. Campos wrote 
a report to the Spanish government, couched in florid 
language and breathing benevolence: 

"I do not wish to make a momentary peace. I desire 
that this peace be the beginning of a bond of common 
interests between Spain and her Cuban provinces, and 
that this bond be drawn continually closer by the iden- 
tity of aspirations and the good faith of both. 

"Let not the Cubans be considered as pariahs or 
minors, but put on an equality with other Spaniards in 
everything not inconsistent with their present condition. 

"It was on the other hand impossible, according to my 
judgment and conscience, not to grant the first condition ; 
not to do it was to postpone indefinitely the fulfilment 


of a promise made in our present constitution. It was 
not possible that this island, richer, more populous, and 
more advanced morally and materially than her sister, 
Porto Rico, should remain without the advantages and 
liberties long ago planted in the latter with good results; 
and the spirit of the age, and the decision of the country 
gradually to assimilate the colonies to the Peninsula, 
made it necessary to grant the promised reforms, which 
would have been already established, and surely more 
amply, if the abnormal state of things had not concen- 
trated all the attention of government on the extirpation 
of the evil which was devouring this rich province. 

"I did not make the last constitution; I had no part 
in the discussion of it. It is now the law, and as such 
I respect it, and as such endeavor to apply it. But 
there was in it something conditional, which I think a 
danger, a motive of distrust, and I have wished that it 
might disappear. Nothing assures me that the pres- 
ent ministry will continue in power, and I do not know 
whether that which replaces it would believe the fit mo- 
ment to have arrived for fulfilling the precept of the 

"I desire the peace of Spain, and this will not be firm 
while there is war or disturbance in the richest jewel of 
her crown. Perhaps the insurgents would have accepted 
promises less liberal and more vague than those set forth 
in this condition; but even had this been done it would 
have been but a brief postponement, because those lib- 
erties are destined to come for the reasons already given, 
with the difference that Spain now shows herself gen- 
erous and magnanimous, satisfying just aspirations 
which she might deny, and a little later, probably very 
soon, would have been obliged to grant them, compelled 
by the force of ideas and of the age. 


"Moreover, she has promised over and over again to 
enter on the path of assimilation, and if the promises 
were more vague, even though the fulfillment of this 
promise were begun, these people would have the right 
to doubt our good faith and to show a distrust unfortu- 
nately warranted by the failings of human nature itself. 

"The not adding another one hundred thousand to the 
one hundred thousand families that mourn their sons 
slain in this pitiless war, and the cry of peace that will 
resound in the hearts of the eighty thousand mothers who 
have sons in Cuba who are liable to conscription, would 
be a full equivalent for the payment of a debt of justice." 

February 21, 1878, saw the Cuban insurrection offi- 
cially at an end. The Cubans laid down their arms and 
surrendered to the Spanish forces. On March 1, tele- 
grams announcing this fact were received by the Cortes 
in Spain with the greatest rejoicing. On the next day a 
royal decree was published at Havana announcing that 
Cuba was to be accorded the same treatment which had 
been granted to Porto Rico; and many concessions were 
nominally made to the former insurgents. Cuba was 
to be allowed to have her own municipal government and 
city councils, and was to be granted representation in 
the Cortes, while a second decree was promulgated at 
Puerto Principe declaring the freedom of all slaves who 
had been born since the enactment of the measure of 
February 10, 1869, on the condition that within a month 
they presented themselves to the authorities for the proper 
legal procedure. Spain had so frequently gone on rec- 
ord, particularly in her efforts to enlist the sympathy of 
the United States Government, that she would, immed- 
iately on a determination of the war in her favor, declare 
the abolition of slavery, that she could not now very 
well give the lie to her assurances. The proclamation 


at Puerto Principe, however, contained the extremely un- 
just provision that all patriots who had taken part in the 
revolution would not receive compensation for the finan- 
cial loss suffered in the freeing of their slaves, but that 
the loyal Spaniards would be indemnified. It is not diffi- 
cult to picture how this provision must have impressed 
those patriots who had sacrificed everything in an effort 
to free themselves from that very rule which was now 
imposing such an unfair enaetment upon them. 

Official Spanish reports give the following table of 
their losses yearly during the Ten Years' War: 

Year Force in Field Deaths 

1869 35,570 5,504 

1870 47,242 9,395 

1871 55,357 6,574 

1872 58,708 7,780 

1873 52,500 5,902 

1874 62,578 5,923 

1875 63,212 6,361 

1876 78,099 8,482 

1877 90,245 17,677 

1878 81,700 7,500 

Total 81,098 


THE Spanish government had granted concessions to 
the Cubans, or what on their face seemed to be conces- 
sions, but in actual administration, the government re- 
mained practically the same. The power remained 
vested in a military government, at the head of which 
was the Captain-General, whose name was subsequently 
changed to Governor-General, but whose nature and 
functions remained in the last analysis very little differ- 
ent from what they had been before the revolution. The 
struggle had, however, given the Cubans less fear of their 
tyrant. They had demonstrated that they were able for 
ten years to keep up an armed resistance against their 
oppressors, and one which had occasioned Spain a great 
loss of life, and of property, and had caused her rulers 
to have many unpleasant hours, struggling with vexing 
problems. Those who had accomplished this would 
never again be quite the same. They could never again 
be ground beneath the heels of Spanish tyrants in the 
same unresisting if not uncomplaining fashion, which 
had been the regular order of things before the revolu- 
tion. Had a Lopez come to Cuba, he would have found 
a far different people from those who failed to rally to 
aid him when in 1851 he made his fruitless efforts to 
free the island. 

During 1878 two political parties were organized in 
Cuba, and another was essayed, the proposed constitu- 
tion of the latter forming the basis for the platform of 
the Autonomistas, then the most radical of all Cuban 
political organizations. 



The Liberal Party belied its name, for its platform 
was a most conservative one. It followed closely the 
lines of the agreement with Spain, as laid down in the 
Treaty of Zanjon, and the negotiations in connection 
therewith, and it sought mainly to obtain the enforce- 
ment of the promises which Spain made at that time, 
and in which, from long experience, most Cubans had 
little faith nor was this lack of faith unwarranted. 
The party was really an organized movement to enforce 
the provisions of the treaty. Its platform provided for 
the right to assemble and to discuss political questions, 
the right of freedom in religious worship, the removal 
of the restrictions which had been placed on the press, 
and the right of petition. It also provided for the pro- 
tection of the homes and property of loyal Cubans, and 
for the right of correspondence without censorship or in- 
terference from the Spanish authorities. It stood for 
improvements in the criminal law, which would make it 
impossible for the crimes which had been so prevalent 
to be committed further against the persons and property 
of those who were in sympathy with the liberation of 
Cuba. It also sought to obtain the admission of Creoles 
to office on the island on the same basis as Spanish born 
citizens, and above all a complete separation of the mili- 
tary and civil functions of. the government. It will be 
recalled that one of the promises said to have been made 
by Spain was that there should be a civil governor. By 
these means it hoped to abolish the discrimination against 
the Creoles in the government of their own country. 
Changes in taxation also had their part in the platform, 
with an idea of obtaining a decrease of the high export 

An analysis of the platform of the Union Constitu- 
tionalists shows surprisingly little difference from that 


of the Liberals. It also provided for the right of peti- 
tion, asked for an improvement in the methods of ad- 
ministration of the laws that is the abatement of the 
perversion of those laws by unscrupulous Spanish offi- 
cials, so that they might be used as a club for protesting 
Creoles. The platform of the Union Constitutionalists 
further stood for the enactment of special laws for Cuba, 
which would be peculiarly suited to her needs, including 
protection for the various industries and activities, the 
planters and the tobacco raisers, and the removal of ex- 
cessive export duties. It also sought a commercial 
treaty with the United States, and the abolition of slav- 
ery in accordance with the Moret law, with modifications 
which seemed proper in the light of conditions in Cuba. 
A third platform was formulated, but it was never com- 
pletely adopted, and the party which drafted it died at 
birth, without a name. It took the bull by the horns, 
and flaunted its conviction in the face of Spain. It is a 
matter of conjecture whether if the leaders of this move- 
ment had prolonged the life of the potential party, it 
would have long survived active Spanish opposition. 
This platform provided for free trade, free banks, free 
shipping, free labor, none but municipal taxes, the 
prompt and complete abolition of slavery, the formation 
of a provincial militia and universal suffrage. Its terms 
must have been a severe shock to the Spaniards. 

No fewer than thirty representatives in the Spanish 
Cortes were allotted to Cuba ; but such representation was 
a farce, for pains were taken by those who held the bal- 
ance of power to see that so small a number of Creoles 
were sent as representatives, and that the Spaniards so 
greatly outnumbered them, that the Cuban vote counted 
for nothing, and Spain still held complete power. This 
was the more regrettable and exasperating, since the 


Cubans so far as they were permitted to do so sent men 
of the highest type to the Cortes. Among them, pre- 
eminently, was Dr. Rafael Montoro, one of the ablest 
scholars and statesmen in Cuban history, who was des- 
tined subsequently to play a great part in the adminis- 
tration of the free and independent Republic of Cuba. 

It is self-evident that such conditions and the failure 
of Spain to live up to her promises would be provocative 
of much dissatisfaction, and it followed as a matter of 
course that those who had learned to rebel now took that 
means of expressing their dissatisfaction. In fact the 
war had never ceased, for soon after the signing of the 
treaty, as soon as Spain had shown her hand, Calixto 
Garcia assembled a small band of rebels, and continued 
to harass the Spanish in guerrilla warfare, taking up his 
position in mountain fastnesses which were inaccessible 
except to those who held the key to their labyrinthine 
paths, and biding his time in the most annoying fashion 
possible until he felt matters were ripe for another wide- 
spread armed rebellion. 

In August, 1879, in the districts of Holguin and San- 
tiago there was a serious renewal of hostilities. The 
rebels, so termed by the Spanish, consisted mainly of 
freed blacks, and were under the leadership of three 
mulattoes, Maceo, Brombet and Guilleamon. This 
movement thoroughly frightened the authorities, and two 
thousand Spanish troops were promptly sent to repress 
it. The insurgents were reinforced by large numbers 
of runaway slaves those who had demanded their lib- 
erty and had had their request denied. The insurgents 
took advantage of the disturbed condition of the country 
and sought to turn the general situation to their ad- 
vantage. They hid in the mountains, in dense woods, 
and in wild places, and descended wherever and when- 

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Jose Silverio Jorrin y Bramosio, a distinguished advocate, man 
of letters and publicist, was born in Havana on June 20, 1816, 
and was one of the pupils of Jose de la Luz at his famous school. 
After travelling in the United States and Europe he became one 
of the leaders of the Cuban bar and filled several judicial and 
other public offices. He was at one time a Senator in the Spanish 
Cortes, from Camaguey. His chief interest was in the advance- 
ment of the educational and economic welfare of the island, and 
on subjects relating thereto he wrote a number of important works. 
He wrote a Biography of Christopher Columbus and other his- 
torical works, and had much repute as an orator. For some years 
he was a leader of the Autonomist party, but later identified him- 
self actively with the cause of independence. He lived to see in- 
dependence assured if not actually yet achieved, dying in New 
York in 1897. 

.-ent to 


ever they could pillage and burn without intervention 
from Spanish troops. So thoroughly did the Spanish 
authorities dread a renewal of hostilities that the Cap- 
tain-General declared the province of Santiago to be in a 
state of siege. Meanwhile the insurgents drew up a con- 
stitution for themselves, and continued their activities for 
over six months, terrorizing the people, destroying prop- 
erty and taking prisoners for ransom. 

Meantime General Garcia conducted a campaign in 
the neighborhood of Santiago, which further complicated 
matters for the government. He had planned a general 
uprising for December 15, with the expectation that his 
small band would be largely reinforced by the arrival of 
filibustering expeditions from the United States, with 
men and arms and ammunitions. But he was disap- 
pointed, and the government retaliated by making whole- 
sale arrests of all persons, particularly blacks, who were 
under the slightest suspicion of sympathy with the re- 
bellion. Three hundred and fifty blacks were arrested 
in Santiago alone. The rebels in spite of their small 
numbers had been able to do so much damage to prop- 
erty in this vicinity, that the government voted a hun- 
dred thousand dollars for the relief of Santiago, and 
half that amount for the same purpose in Puerto Principe. 
The general feeling of unrest, uncertainty and sus- 
picion among the Creoles was enhanced by the action of 
the government at Madrid in publishing a manifesto, on 
April 6, 1880, demanding that the Cuban government be 
assimilated with that of Spain, and promising in return 
enactments which would greatly increase the material 
prosperity of the colony. If Spain did not keep her 
promises with Cuba in a position to protest, it was a 
foregone conclusion that the action contemplated by the 
manifesto would not be productive of leniency in the 


government of the island, and it is not difficult to imagine 
with what wrath and consternation the knowledge that 
such a plan could ever be formulated filled the hearts 
of those who had struggled so long and so valiantly and 
at so great personal sacrifice for the freedom of Cuba. 
The result was a renewal of sporadic rebellions, and a 
seething turmoil of anger and resentment on the part of 
the Creoles. 

In April, 1881, an attempt was made by the Spanish 
government by concessions to allay the storm which it 
had raised, and on April 7, the constitution of 1876 was 
again proclaimed. This granted to the Cubans full 
rights of citizenship, and the rights of free speech, free 
press and assembly, and representation. This was 
promptly modified on the very day of its enactment by 
the promulgation of the order of January 7, 1879, which 
had the effect of muzzling the press which had only a 
few hours before been freed. The other rights granted 
were of course existent only in name, and thus Spain con- 
tinued her old program of stupid treachery. 

In 1882 an event occurred which for a time seemed 
likely to draw England into the controversy. Three 
Cuban patriots, Maceo, Rodriguez, and a third whose 
name is not of record, escaped from custody while they 
were being transferred from one penal colony in Spain 
to another. They hastened to gain English territory, and 
fled to Gibraltar. One of the rights sacred to the Eng- 
lish government was the right of asylum. This the 
Spanish government proceeded to ignore. The Spanish 
consul notified the English authorities that the fugitives 
must be returned to Spain, and suggested as a method 
which would be productive of the least trouble that at a 
time and place agreed upon they be sent across the bor- 
der, whereupon the Spanish authorities could apprehend 


them without difficulty and the controversy would be 
happily ended. Through some misapprehension on the 
part of the British officials, this was done. But the end 
was not yet. The British government, when it learned 
of the occurrence, promptly demanded the return of the 
men to British soil, under the right of asylum. The 
Spanish government exhausted all its arguments in vain. 
Great Britain stood firm, but when Spain had surren- 
dered two of the fugitives, the matter was finally dropped 
and the fate of the third one was left to the mercies of 

The history of Cuba was from this time on, until re- 
bellion finally flamed into the war in which, with the 
aid of the United States, she gained her independence, 
one of petty persecutions, and retaliation by continuous 
uprisings, small in character but indicative of the smoul- 
dering fire. These were frequently aided by filibuster- 
ing expeditions sent by the Cuban Junta in New York. 

In 1885 a revolt took place in the provinces of Santa 
Clara and Santiago, always the hotbed of rebellion. 
The rebellion was quickly suppressed, but its leaders, and 
a large number of other Cubans, who were merely under 
suspicion of complicity, were executed without trial. 
One of the leaders, General Vidal, was banished from 
Cuba, but, when he was about to leave for Jamaica, under 
an arrangement made with the Spanish authorities, he 
was brutally murdered by hired assassins. 

Meanwhile the administration of justice in Cuba 
would have been almost ludicrous if it had not been 
tragic. The Spaniards openly practiced the most egre- 
gious frauds at the polls, and by all the chicanery known 
to corrupt politics kept the Creoles from the participation 
in the government which Spain had so glibly promised 
them. One of the interesting methods to prevent the 


voting of the poor in Cuba was the prohibition under a 
law passed on December 12, 1892, of bona fide citizens 
from exercising the right of suffrage unless they paid the 
sum of five dollars in taxes. This law applied to black 
and white alike, and was prohibitive so far as the greater 
number of the former were concerned. 

Meanwhile those Cubans who desired better things for 
their children than the nightmare in which they them- 
selves lived were eager for education for their families, 
but for the most part education was a privilege which 
belonged only to the wealthy. It was not until 1883 
that fhere existed schools of learning similar to high 
schools. It was not Spam's game to educate the masses, 
for if an autocracy is to survive, too much learning is a 
dangerous thing to be allowed to spread among the com- 
mon people. 

In 1887 the Spanish authorities decided, justly, that 
the treasury of Spain was being deprived of revenues by 
the evasion of taxes, and that this was being done by the 
connivance of the custom house officials. The Governor- 
General therefore ordered the seizure of the custom house 
by Spanish troops, and the wharfs and warehouses were 
placed under heavy guard. After an investigation had 
been started a number of merchants whose business was 
importing confessed that they had been doing business in 
a way which deprived the government of certain rev- 
enues and asked permission to change their entries. 
They -were granted three days to do this. The result was 
an enormous increase in revenue from the custom house. 
The Governor-General proceeded from that time forth to 
keep a strict watch on custom house matters, with the 
result that evasions of the law were the exception. 

By 1887 the country was in such condition that it was 
unsafe for any man to proceed unguarded for a mile or 


two into the country. Neither the person of any well- 
to-do planter, nor his property was safe. Outlaw bands 
overran the highways, and took cover in woods and hills, 
from whence they pounced on travelers, robbed and beat 
them, and took them captive for ransom. The brigands 
were so daring and their depredations assumed such pro- 
portions that martial law was declared in over a hundred 
towns and villages. Incendiarism was rife, not only were 
planters robbed and murdered, but their possessions were 
pillaged, their fields were laid waste and their buildings 
were burned. Sanitary conditions on the island were so 
bad that in the months of December, 1887, and of Jan- 
uary and February, 1880, two thousand cases of small- 
pox were reported. This, of course, covered only a small 
portion of the cases actually existent, and those who did 
not fall victim to smallpox were in danger of yellow 
fever. Even Nature seemed to have entered into a con- 
spiracy against the unhappy island, for in 1887 there 
was an earthquake, and the following year a violent 
cyclone, which went the whole length of the island, but 
did its principal damage in the province of Santa Clara. 
Not less than a thousand lives were lost. 

For a time, indeed, there was a measure of relief. 
That was when under the McKinley tariff of 1890, 
Cuban products, particularly sugar, gained freer access 
to American markets. While this system lasted, there 
was an accession of material prosperity in Cuba. But 
upon its repeal, due to a change of politics in the United 
States government, prosperity in Cuba waned, while dis- 
content, dissatisfaction and disaffection waxed apace, and 
undismayed and resolute patriots began preparing for 
another general insurrection. 

During the period between the Ten Years' War and 
the final War of Independence there was a succession of 


Governors-General, varying chiefly in the degree of their 
unacceptability to the Cuban people and of the inepti- 
tude with which they maladministered the affairs of the 
island and thus contributed to the ultimate and inevitable 
catastrophe. Martinez Campos served, with the best of 
intentions, until the late summer of 1883. Then on Sep- 
tember 28 he was succeeded by Ignacio Maria del Cas- 
tillo. His administration endured for three years, and 
was replaced in 1886 by that of General Emilio Calleja 
y Isasi, who gave place the next year to Saba Marin. 
Another change occurred on March 13, 1889, when Man- 
uel de Salamanca y Negrete took office. He served for 
less than a year, being succeeded on February 7, 1890, 
by General J. Chinchilla. To the latter must be ac- 
corded the distinction of having the shortest term of all, 
for on June 10 following his place was taken by General 
Polavieja. He served for two years and was succeeded 
on May 31, 1892, by General A. R. Arias, who in turn, 
on August 10, 1894, was replaced by General Emilio 
Calleja, who thus entered upon his second term, in which 
he was to suffer the penalty of the misdeeds of a long line 
of predecessors, and was to begin reaping the whirlwind 
harvest of the evil wind which for four centuries Spain 
had been sowing with a perverse and ruthless hand. 


"NEW occasions," sang a great American poet of free- 
dom and of progress, "new occasions teach new duties"; 
and splendidly was the truth exemplified in Cuba in the 
era of which we have been writing in this volume. There 
befell the island at the beginning of the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury a new occasion, the greatest thus far in all its his- 
tory since the landfall of Columbus. It was perhaps 
only partially realized at first, 
and it took many years for the 
complete realization to dawn 
upon the universal popular 
mind. But even before the re- 
alization came, the Cuban peo- 
ple, not yet cognizant of the 
tremendous force which was 
working within them, began to 
rise to meet the new occasion, 
the new opportunity which was 
opening before them, with a triumphant spiritual puis- 
sance which has not often been rivalled in the annals of 
the nations. 


One of Cuba's greatest natural scientists, Felipe Poey, was born in 
Havana on May 26, 1799, and was educated at the San Carlos Seminary and 
in France. He became a lawyer in Madrid, but in 1822 left that city be- 
cause of political conditions and returned to Cuba to devote himself to 
ichthyology and entomology. He published a monumental work on "Cuban 
Ichthyology," and others on "Cuban Lepidopteres," "Cuban Mineralogy," 
the "Geography of Cuba," and the "Natural History of Cuba." He was for 
many years professor of zoology at the University of Havana and Dean of 
the Faculty of Sciences. He died in 1891. 




Writing of that very period, in his essay on Jean Paul 
Richter, and referring to the British domination of the 
sea which Nelson had achieved, to the mastery of the 
lands of Europe which Napoleon had won, and to the 
intellectual primacy which Germany though beaten to 
the dust in war was then enjoying, Carlyle observed that 
"Providence has given to the French the empire of the 
land, to the English that of the sea, to the Germans that 
of the air!" It was a fine conception, as true then as 
it would be untrue to-day. In a significant sense the 
same shrewd observation is apt to the situation of Cuba 
a hundred years ago. Spain held control of the ma- 
terial interests of the island, on sea and on land, but she 
could not restrain the Cubans from self-control, which 
meant immeasurable progress, in the air that is, in the 
intellectual life. It was thus intellectually, in the only 
way as yet within their power, that the people of the 
island met the new and transcendent occasion. 

It was, as we have seen, a period of revolution and of 
counter-revolution, a time of flux, throughout the greater 
part of the world. The mighty liberal impulse of the 
French Revolution, following in the wake of the Amer- 
ican revolution, was by no means annihilated by the 
infatuated imperialism of Napoleon or by the reactionary 
movement which prevailed for a time after his fall. It 
was felt, and it prevailed, in North and Central and 
South America, from the Golden Gate to the Strait of 
Magellan; and in the islands of the Caribbean and the 
Gulf. In Cuba, as we have seen, there seemed to be at 
first no response, for reasons which also we have hitherto 
considered. But all unconsciously the Cuban people re- 
ceived and felt the impulse, and answered it. 

Periods of revolution are usually periods of intellectual 
activity, and such was the case in Cuba. While there 




The war which they 

was in the first quarter of the century little thought of a 
revolt against Spain, or of independence, the revolution- 
ary spirit which was in the air inspired the minds of 
Cubans, not only with activity but also, largely, with 
thoughts and aspirations of 
freedom. There was indeed in 
particular a striking likeness 
between Cuba and the Thirteen 
Colonies in North America just 
before the Revolution in that 
country. It will be recalled 
that down to a few months, per- 
haps even weeks, before the 
Declaration of Independence in 
1776, very few American lead- 
ers contemplated independence, 
had begun at Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill 
was not a war of secession, but a civil war intended merely 
to secure for British subjects in the colonies the same 
rights and privileges that British subjects in the British 
Isles enjoyed. But a little later it was seen that this 
would not suffice, and that complete separation and in- 
dependence must be achieved. Precisely so did some of 
the foremost Cuban minds at the time of which we are 
writing, and indeed in much later years, incline toward 
reforms and autonomous freedom under the Spanish 

These men saw with exultation the enkindling of a 


Patriot, economist and man of letters, Antonio Bachiller y Morales was 
born in Havana on June 7, 1812, and was educated for the bar. He wrote 
several volumes of poems and plays, but gave his best attention to valuable 
treatises on Cuban history, industry, agriculture, economics, administration, 
and law. He was one of the foremost authorities and writers on Cuban and 
Antillean archaeology. He was professor of philosophy in the University 
of Havana, held various public offices, and was a patriotic orator of great 
power. He died on January 10, 1889. 


spirit of liberty in the Iberian Peninsula. They saw the 
revolt of Spain against Joseph Bonaparte. They saw 
the Spanish people dictate to their Bourbon king that 
Constitution of 1812 which had it been triumphantly en- 
forced would have marked an epoch in the history of the 
rights of man. They sympathized with and exulted in 
these things, and hoped for their extension in Cuba. It 
was only when they sadly realized that these things, even 
if gained for Spain, were not for Cuba, and that Liberal 
Spain was as illiberal toward Cuba as ever despotic 
Spain had been, that they turned from autonomy to in- 
dependence. Then the intellectual activities which had 
been directed to the achievements of the Peninsula, were 
turned to the interests of the island. 

The most striking exemplar of the pro-Spanish atti- 
tude of which we have been speaking, as well as perhaps 
the greatest of all Cuban poets, was Jose Maria Heredia ; 
of whom the world too often thinks as a Spanish rather 
than as a Cuban genius. He was born in Cuba in 1803, 
the son of parents who had fled from Santo Domingo to 
escape the fury of the revolution of Toussaint 1'Ouver- 
ture. His father had formerly been a Chief Justice of 
the Venezuelan court at Caracas, under the Spanish gov- 
ernment, and was loyal to Spain, though he detested and 
protested against her tyrannies and corruption and im- 
bued his son with a passionate love of liberty. The 
younger Heredia established himself in the city of Matan- 
zas, as a successful lawyer. But already he had written 
many poems, chiefly of freedom. They were in praise 
of Spain, and of the Spanish aspirations for liberty 
which were manifested in the Constitution of 1812. In- 
deed, never did Heredia commit himself against Spain, 
harshly as he was treated by her. But the poems which 
he had written in glorification of the Peninsular strug- 


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The bearer of one of the greatest names in the literature of 
Cuba and of Spain, Jose Maria Heredia, was born at Santiago de 
Cuba on December 31, 1803, and died at Toluca, Mexico, on May 
7, 1839. Because of his early identification with the cause of 
Cuban freedom in the "Soles y Rayos de Bolivar" he was compelled 
to flee to the United States, whence he presently went to Mexico 
and there spent the remainder of his life, holding places of high 
rank and importance. He was at once advocate, soldier, traveller, 
linguist, diplomat, journalist, magistrate, historian, poet. His 
"Ode to Niagara" has made him illustrious in American literature. 
His general writings have given him conspicuous rank among the 
world's great lyric poets of the Nineteenth Century. 

though he cJ 

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already he had 
They were in p* 
for lit 

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j}y her. But the poem 
n of th 


gles for liberty against Napoleon and against the Bour- 
bons were recognized by his countrymen to be equally ap- 
plicable to the Cuban struggle against Spain, which was 
already impending, and they were consequently taken up 
throughout the island in that sense and for that purpose. 
This circumstance, though unintended by him, subjected 
him to grave suspicion; and he was presently charged 
with complicity in an insurrectionary movement in 1823, 
and was banished from Cuba for life. After a brief 
visit to the United States he went to Mexico, became a 
government official, married, and spent the rest of his 
life there, with the exception of a few weeks in 1836, when 
the Spanish authorities permitted him to revisit Cuba, 
though their espionage made his visit anything but pleas- 
ant. He died in 1839. 

Heredia, who has been called the Byron of Spanish 
literature, and who is claimed by Spain as one of the 
glories of her letters, is known in Cuba largely by his 
patriotic poems, and his poems on nature. In the United 
States, where because of his exile from Cuba his poems 
were first printed, he is chiefly known by three great 
compositions, two of which were translated into English 
by William Cullen Bryant. These are his "Ode to Ni- 
agara," which ranks among the greatest poems ever 
written by any poet on that theme; his "Ode to the Hurri- 
cane"; and a sonnet addressed to his wife. It is with 
his political and patriotic poems, however, that we are 
now most concerned, and of them it may be said that 
seldom have the aspirations of a people for freedom been 
expressed with more passionate eloquence. His first im- 
portant poem, "The Star of Cuba," written while he was 
yet in his teens, expressed a readiness to die, if need be, 
for Cuba, leaving his head upon the scaffold as a token 
of the brutality of Spain. Years afterward, in exile, he 


apostrophized Cuba as the "land of light and beauty," 
and then thus prophesied : 

My Cuba ! Thou shalt one day rise 

From 'neath the despot's hand, 
Free as the air beneath thy skies 

Or waves which kiss thy strand. 
In vain the traitor's noxious plots, 

The tyrant's wrath is vain; 
Since roll the surges of the sea 

Between thy shores and Spain! 

Though Heredia took little active part in the physical 
revolt of Cuba against Spain, his 
poems exerted during his lifetime 
a potent influence in aid of revo- 
lution, and that influence steadily 
increased until, nearly three score 
years after his death, his proph- 
ecy of Cuban freedom was splen- 
didly fulfilled. He was the first 
great voice of Cuban freedom, the 
first great pioneer in that extra- 
VARELA ordinary intellectual development 

which made Cuban history memorable in the Nineteenth 
Century. Truly did the Spanish critic Menendez say of 
him that if his political activity did not equal that of other 


One of Cuba's greatest philosophers and churchmen, Felix Varela, was 
born in Havana on November 20, 1788, was educated at San Carlos, and 
became a priest and teacher. After several years of service at San Carlos 
as Professor of Philosophy, in 1823 he was compelled to flee to New York 
as a political exile. In that city he spent the rest of his life, editing several 
periodicals, translating many works, and writing much on religious and 
philosophical subjects. He became rector of the Church of the Transng- 
uration, and in 1845 was chosen Vicar-General of New York. A few years 
later he went to Florida on account of his health, and died at St. Augustine 
in 1853. 



conspirators against Spain, and thdugh he took no part in 
armed struggles, his intellectual influence was constant 
and supremely effective, since he surpassed in talents all 
his countrymen. 

But men might fall a little short if indeed they did 
so of Heredia's singular genius, and yet be noteworthy 
figures in the intellectual world. Well comparable with 
Heredia in influence, though 
exerted far differently, was the 
brilliant Professor of Latin, 
philosophy and science in the 
University of Havana, Felix 
Varela y Morales. It used to 
be said, and not without rea- 
son, that it was he who first 
taught the Cuban people to 
think as Cubans. He was sent 
to Spain as a Cuban Deputy to 
that historic Cortes which met at Cadiz in 1823 and was 
dispersed by Ferdinand VII because of its Liberalism. 
Varela was among its most conspicuous members, and 
was among those whose arrest was ordered by the reac- 
tionary Bourbons. He fortunately found asylum under 
the British flag at Gibraltar, whence he made his way 
to the United States. There, at Philadelphia, he pub- 
lished during the remainder of his life, a weekly journal, 
El Habanero, which had a large though chiefly sur- 
reptitious circulation in Cuba, and which exerted an in- 


One of the greatest ecclesiastics of Cuba, Father Jose Agustin Caballero, 
uncle and preceptor of Jose de la Luz, was born in Havana in February, 
1771, and for many years was Director of the San Carlos Seminary. He 
was a leading member of the Patriotic Society, wrote much for the press, 
was the author of a number of educational and historical works, and 
preached a memorable sermon over the remains of Columbus when they 
were placed in the Cathedral at Havana. He died in 1835. 



estimable influence for the encouragement of patriotic 
endeavors. He died in Florida in 1853, and his re- 
mains rested there for nearly half a century, when, after 
the achievement of Cuban independence, they were trans- 
ferred to his native land. 

A name which we are not inclined to rank below any 
other in intellectual significance and influence in Nine- 
teenth Century Cuba is that of the illustrious Jose de la 
Luz y Caballero, who was born in 1800 and died in 
1862, too soon to see the beginning of that Ten Years' 
War to which his teachings had powerfully contributed. 
"The Father of the Cuban Revolution" the Spaniards 
called him, and more perhaps than any other man did 
he deserve that honorable distinction. It was as an edu- 
cator of youth that this great man's great work was 
done. In the world-shaking revolution year of 1848, 
after O'Donnell has drowned the Cuban slave revolts in 
blood, and when Narciso Lopez was just preparing for 
his descents upon the island, Luz y Caballero opened in 
Cuba a high school for boys. It was not a political 
school; certainly not seditious, unless truth and virtue 
were seditious. Hundreds of Cuban patriots, including 
many of the leaders in the Ten Years' War and the War 
of Independence, have testified that it was his teaching 
that made them the aggressive, resolute, militant patriots 
that they were. Yet they have all been equally insistent 
that "Don Pepe" as they called him was never a politi- 
cal propagandist. He never incited them to revolt, never 
prejudiced them against Spain. Yet, said his Spanish 
critics and enemies, he prepared his pupils to conspire 
and to be garrotted ! 

Both accounts of his teaching were true, and together 
they formed the severest possible -indictment of the Span- 
ish regime. The burden of his teaching was manhood. 


He and his assistants gave much attention to the ordinary 
academic studies, in science and the humanities. But 
constantly he impressed upon them the duty of being 
manly. That meant that they were to be true, pure, 
resolute against injustice, respecting themselves and re- 
specting others as themselves, and ready if need should 
be to sacrifice themselves for the sake of duty. It was 
the highest and best form of prac- 
tical ethical teaching. He might, 
it is true, have added at the end of 
each of his weekly discourses to his 
boys the words of Patrick Henry, 
"If this be treason, make the most 
of it." The Spaniards did re- 
gard it as treason, and it did cer- 
tainly incite and foment insurrec- 
tion against Spain. But so much 
the worse for Spain, if such teach- DOMINGO DEL MONTE 
ing was incompatible with her rule in Cuba. 

An important literary influence was exerted in Cuba, 
beginning in the latter part of the Eighteenth century, and 
reaching its height in the first third of the Nineteenth, 
by the society called "Friends of Peace," of which Do- 
mingo del Monte was the leading spirit. It was this 
organization which gave Varela his professorship in the 
University of Havana. It was it that gave a prize for 
the best poem on the birth of the princess who was to 


One of the greatest patrons of Cuban letters, Domingo del Monte, was 
born in Venezuela on August 4, 1804, was brought to Cuba in 1810, and 
was educated at the University of Havana. He travelled much in America 
and Europe, and then settled in Havana, where he was secretary of the 
Royal Economic Society. He edited a dictionary of Cuban provincialisms, 
and published a volume of "American Rhymes." He made his house the 
rendezvous of Cuban men of letters and gave to many of them invaluable en- 
couragement and aid; and was also active in promoting public education 
throughout the island. He died at Madrid, Spain, in 1853. 


become Isabella II of Spain; a prize which was won by 
a lad of sixteen. This was Jose Antonio Echeverria, 
who afterward edited a literary journal called El Plan- 
tel, and still later became one of the leaders of the strife 
for independence. Another protege of Del Monte's 
for he was a wealthy patron of letters, at Havana was 
Ramon Velez y Herrera, who was born in 1808 and died 
in 1886. He devoted his attention chiefly to depicting 
in poetry the life, manners and customs o the common 

people of Cuba, and particularly 
of the peasantry. Still another 
was Jose Jacinto Milanes, who 
was born in 1814 and died in 
1863 ' He was preeminently the 
poet of "local color" in nature. 
No other has quite so richly and 
so perfectly embodied Cuban 
landscapes in verse. But both 
these poets also wrote in behalf of 
Cuban freedom. 


Domingo del Monte himself 

wrote some poetry, but much more in prose, and he had 
the distinction of being practically the founder of polit- 
ical tract and pamphlet writing, an art which was 
largely practised with powerful results. He wrote in 
1836 a notable criticism of the despotic administration 
of Tacon, and an analysis of the condition in which 
Cuba found herself under such government. This 
opened the way for a veritable flood of political tracts. 


Born in Matanzas on August 16, 1814, and because of poverty chiefly 
self-educated, Jose Jacinto Milanes became a noted linguist and graceful 
poet. Most of his writings were translated into German, and some into 
English and French, and he gained international repute as a man of letters. 
Mental derangement and failing physical health afflicted him in 1843, and 
he died in 1863. 


Conspicuous among them were the writings of Jose 
Antonio Saco, who was born in 1797 and died in 
1879. He was both a rival and a friend of Varela, 
and was the latter's successor in his professorship 
when Varela went to Cadiz and then fled to America. 
After Varela's arrival in the United States, Saco formed 
a literary and patriotic partnership with him, and to- 
gether they edited the Cuban Review, a literary and criti- 
cal journal of high rank, which commanded international 
attention. The American 'historian and literary critic, 
George Ticknor, said of it that perusal of it greatly im- 
pressed him with the amount of literary talent that ex- 
isted in Cuba. The Review, he declared, far surpassed 
anything of the kind in any other of the Spanish or for- 
mer Spanish colonies, and indeed "a review of such 
spirit, variety and power has never been attempted even 
in Madrid." Of course, Saco was exiled by Tacon, the 
immediate cause of offense being a pamphlet exposing 
and denouncing some of the more flagrant evils of the 
slave trade. The result was, however, that in exile Saco 
wrote one of the most elaborate and exhaustive histories 
of slavery in existence in any language, beside continu- 
ing his occasional political tracts. Nor did his influ- 
ence end with his death and the laying down of his pen, 
for portions of his writings figured conspicuously and 
effectively in the literary propaganda which formed the 
prelude to the War of Independence. 

Gabriel de la Conception Valdes was another of the 
proteges of Del Monte. He was born in 1809 and died 
in 1844. His father was a mulatto barber and his 
mother was a Spanish dancer, and he himself was per- 
mitted to remain illiterate in boyhood. While working 
as a maker of tortoise shell combs he was taught to read, 
and soon developed a passion for books. From reading 


he proceeded to the writing of poetry, adopting the pen 
name of "Placido" from the name of Placido Puentes, a 
druggist of Havana who encouraged his literary efforts 
to the extent of giving him pen and ink and paper, and 
a desk in his shop at which to sit and write whenever he 
felt inclined. Valdes was a voluminous writer, above 
most of his contemporaries, and while much that he 
wrote was mediocre, many of his poems were of high 
merit, and some of them deserve to rank among the best 
in Cuban literature; indeed, they would be noteworthy 
in the literature of any land. Especially meritorious are 
his poems about the slave trade and his apostrophes to 

Liberty. Because of these he 
was accused of complicity in an 
attempted negro uprising. He 
was hurried through a farcical 
trial, in which no real proof of 
his guilt was presented. In- 
deed, there is good reason for 
believing that he was entirely 
innocent. But he was found 
guilty, and was put to death ; re- 
JOSE MANUEL MEsxRE peating aloud, as he walked to 
the place of execution, one of his poems on liberty. 

Three more writers of note and of real merit must 
be mentioned as members of the company gathered about 
him by Domingo del Monte. These were Anselmo 


Advocate, philosopher, journalist and revolutionist, Jose Manuel Mestre 
was born in Havana in 1832. He was a professor of both law and phi- 
losophy in the University until he resigned because of governmental injus- 
tice to a colleague. For a time he taught on La Luz's school of El Salvador, 
and as a lawyer he defended Abad Torres who was charged with trying to 
murder the Archbishop of Santiago. During the Ten Years' War he was 
in New York, a member of the Cuban Junta, a diplomatic agent at Wash- 
ington, and one of the editors of "El Nuevo Mundo." After the Treaty 
of Zanjon he returned to Cuba, and died in Havana in 1886. 


Suarez y Romero, who lived from 1818 to 1878, and 
who as a delineator of Cuban life and customs in fic- 
tion and essays ranks among the best Cuban writers 
of prose; Cirillo Villaverde, who lived from 1812 to 
1894, and who also depicted in romances the life and 
manners of his countrymen, dealing much, moreover, 
with African slavery; and Ramon de Palma y Romay, 
who dates from 1812 to 1860, -who assisted Echeverria 
in the editing of "El Plantel," and who was an accom- 
plished writer of verse and of dramas, and who is said 
to have been the first native Cuban dramatist to have a 
play of his produced upon the stage. The work of his 
thus honored was "La Prueba o la Vuelta del Cruzado," 
in 1837. Palma also wrote some strongly patriotic 
poems, which excited the suspicion and enmity of the 
Spanish authorities, and in consequence in 1852 he was 
arrested and imprisoned for a time on charge of com- 
plicity in the revolutionary movements of that time. We 
may reckon him to have been the last of the earlier school 
of Cuban writers, who had been more or less uncon- 
sciously inspired by the revolutionary era of the begin- 
ning of the century. Next came a new school, of the 
writers of the final and triumphant revolution. 

We may indeed regard Jose Antonio Saco, to whom we 
have already referred, as one of the writers and intel- 
lectual leaders of the final revolution. In his earlier 
years he was an advocate of reforms in the Spanish ad- 
ministration of the island which would make continued 
union acceptable. In 1848 he had written a strong pam- 
phlet against incorporation of Cuba in the United States, 
largely on the ground that thus Cuban nationality and 
the individuality of the Cuban people would be extin- 
guished. Three years later he wrote again on "The 
Cuban Situation and Its Remedy," in which he pointed 



out the necessity of Spain's granting fully the just de- 
mands of the Cuban people, the alternative being separa- 
tion and independence; and he indicated pretty clearly 
that he regarded the latter course as all but inevitable. 

Thereafter for some years there was comparatively lit- 
tle political literature put forth in Cuba, but other de- 
partments of letters greatly flourished. A noteworthy 
volume of poems by four authors was published in 1853 
under the title of "Cuatro Laudes." One of the authors 
was Dr. Ramon Zambrana, a physician and scientist of 

'high attainments, whose poems 
were chiefly metaphysical, specu- 
lative and imaginative. He was 
married to Dona Luisa Perez, 
perhaps the foremost of the 
women poets of Cuba; to whom 
he was attracted by the reading 
of her poems. Many critics rate 
her verses more highly than his, 
and they were certainly more pop- 


The second of the four authors was Jose Gonzalo 
Roldan, whose best work was in poems of tender senti- 
ment. The third, Rafael Maria de Mendive, devoted 
himself almost exclusively to poems of melancholy or 
at least pensive sentiment. He was a passionate admirer 
and to some extent a disciple if not an imitator of Byron 
and Moore, many of whose poems he translated into 


One of Cuba's greatest poets, Luisa Perez, was born near El Cobre in 
1837, and was married in 1858 to Dr. Ramon Zambrana, an eminent man of 
letters of Havana. She wrote much in youth, and published a volume of 
poems in 1856. In addition to her poems she wrote "Angelica and Es- 
trella" and other novels, and translated much from the French and Italian. 
When Gertrudis Avellanda returned to Cuba, Luisa Perez was chosen to 
place upon her brow a golden laurel wreath. 


Spanish with much success. Beside his poetical work, 
however, he cooperated with Quintiliano Garcia in 
founding and conducting The Havana Review, a meri- 
torious fortnightly literary journal. His career in Cuba 
was cut short early in the Ten Years' War by banish- 
ment for treason. He was at that time the head of a 
boys' school, in Havana, .and was suspected by the au- 
thorities of inculcating in his pupils forbidden ideas of 
freedom and democracy. One night in January, 1869, 
when there was much popular indignation against the 
Spanish government on account of a very drastic proc- 
lamation which had been issued against the insurgent 
patriots, a number of Cuban women marched to a 
theatre in Havana, wearing dresses of red, blue and 
white adorned with stars, obviously representing the 
colors of the revolutionary Cuban flag. Some of Men- 
dive's boys were present, and they applauded and cheered 
the women so vigorously that a riot arose, in which the 
notorious Volunteers caused some bloodshed. For this 
Mendive was held responsible, and he was arrested and 
exiled to Spain for a term of four years. The influence 
of the American poet Longfellow and other literary men, 
however, procured his release, on condition that he would 
not reenter Cuba. He accordingly went to New York 
and there lived until the general amnesty after the Ten 
Years' War permitted his return to Cuba. While in New 
York he wrote much in behalf of the insurrection, and 
he cheerfully sent his son as a member of the ill-fated 
Virginius expedition; writing a touching poem on that 
occasion : 

" 'Tis well that thou hast done, 
Most noble and most right, 
To answer honor's call, my son, 
For Fatherland to fight." 


The fourth of the four poets of "Cuatro Laudes" was 
Felipe Lopez de Brinas, who drew his best themes from 
nature, and who addressed his best poems to his wife. 

One of the most popular poets in the period just pre- 
ceding and during the Ten Years' War was Jose For- 
naris, who in his "Cantos de Siboney" related many 
legends of the Cuban aborigines, some of them actual 
traditions but most of them invented by himself. A con- 
temporary who essayed similar themes with almost equal 

success was Juan Cristobal Na- 
poles Fajardo. Another, Miguel 
Teurbe de Tolon, devoted himself 
to legends and ballads not of the 
aborigines but of the Cuban people 
of European ancestry. Talon was 
an intense patriot, and for that 
cause suffered exile. For some 
years he lived in New York, where 
he was efficiently active as the sec- 
JOAQUIN LORENZO LUACEs retary of the Cuban Revolution- 

ary Junta in that city. 

But perhaps above all others the poet we might say, 
the Tyrtaeus of the revolution was Joaquin Lorenzo 
Luaces, though he did not live to see the beginning of 
the war which he did so much to provoke. Luaces, who 
was born in 1826 and died in 1867, was a devoted Greek 
scholar, and took Greek poetry for his model. For that 
reason many have thought that his writings were some- 
what academic and artificial. There is however in his 


Lyric, dramatic and patriotic poet, Joaquin Lorenzo Luaces was born in 
Havana in 1826, and was educated at the University of that city. His 
themes as a poet were largely those of the great events of the day, or of 
history, such as the Fall of Missolonghi, the Death of Lincoln, and the Lay- 
ing of the Atlantic Cable. Many of his poems were patriotic appeals dis- 
guised in classic forms. He died in 1867. 


poems an exquisite finish surpassed by no other Cuban 
writer, while many of them reach a height of inspira- 
tion which few others have equalled. There was in them, 
moreover, an irresistible call to Cuban patriotism, which 
had vast effect in rousing the nation for the Ten Years' 
War. One of his most stirring lyrics was on the Greek 
War of Independence, entitled "The Fall of Misso- 

To arms, ye Greeks ! Missolonghi falls ! 

And Ibrahim conquers her soldiers brave. 
But the Moslem finds within those walls 

Corpses of Greeks, but never one slave! 

This passionate call to patriots to do battle to the death 
against tyrants was addressed to the Greeks, thousands 
of miles away, and the tyrants against whom it raged 
were Moslem Turks, hated by all true Spaniards ; where- 
fore the Spanish censor permitted it to be published 
freely in Cuba. But every Cuban patriot read in it 
"Cubans" for "Greeks" and "Spaniards" for "Moslems." 
Luaces was the author of a number of meritorious 

We have spoken of Dona Louisa Perez as probably the 
foremost of Cuba's women poets. Her chief rival for 
that distinction was Dona Gertrudis Gomez de Avel- 
landa, a woman of real genius. But she, although born 
in Camaguey, was for practically all her life so identi- 
fied with Spain that she is commonly regarded as a Span- 
iard rather than a Cuban. Born in 1814, she went to 
Spain with her mother in 1836, and there remained until 
1860. By that time she had gained world-wide reputa- 
tion as a poet and dramatist, and also as a writer of prose 
fiction, and on her return to Cuba she was publicly 
greeted as though she were a queen or an empress. A 


few months later she hastened back to Spain and there 
spent the remainder of her life. Only a few of her writ- 
ings were on Cuban themes, but they indicated that she 
retained in her voluntary exile a deep love for and sym- 
pathy with her native land. 

The successor of Domingo Del Monte as a patron of 
Cuban letters was Nicolas Azcarate, a very wealthy law- 
yer of Havana, himself a writer and orator of great 
power, and an ardent patriot, though generally inclined 
toward reforms and autonomy rather than independ- 
ence. He was the leader of that "Committee of Infor- 
mation" which went to Spain in 1865 to lay before the 
Spanish Minister for the Colonies, Canovas del Castillo, 
the grievances and the demands of Cuba ; a mission which 
was quite fruitless, for it was quickly followed by the out- 
break of the Ten Years' War. Azcarate also founded 
and conducted at his own cost a newspaper at Havana, 
La Voz del Siglo, to advocate reforms and autonomy. 
But he lost popularity with the Cubans, who were by 
this time almost unanimous for independence, while he 
could not command the favor of the Spaniards; and in 
consequence he lo'st his influence, his fortune and his 
place in society, and ended his life in obscurity and 

Prominent among the poets of the Revolution was 
Juan Clemente Zenea, who was a martyr as well as a 
poet. He was born at Bayamo in 1 832, his mother being 
the sister of the poet Fornaris already mentioned. He 
was one of the pupils of Jose de la Luz y Caballero, and 
before leaving school began to write patriotic poems and 
other articles. At the age of twenty he had to flee from 
Cuba to escape arrest and prosecution for his com- 
plicity in some revolutionary publications; whereupon 
he went to New York and there continued his revolu- 


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Although most of her life was spent abroad, the name of Ger- 
trudis Gomez de Avellaneda y Arteaga must always be enrolled 
among the glories of Cuban literature and Cuban womanhood. 
She was born in Camaguey on March 23, 1814, and almost lit- 
erally "lisped in numbers," since she wrote an elegy on the death 
of her father at the age of six, and two years later wrote a fairy 
tale, "The Hundred-Headed Giant." In 1836 she bade farewell 
to Cuba in a memorable sonnet, and went to France, and thence 
to Spain. There she wrote poems and dramas which placed her 
in the foremost rank of the world's literary artists; her poetical 
drama of "Baltasar" in 1853 being one of the greatest triumphs of 
that generation. In 1860 she revisited Cuba and was publicly 
crowned in the Tacon Theatre before a great assemblage of the 
foremost men and women of the nation. She returned to Spain a 
few years later and died at Seville on February 2, 1873. 



tionary writings. So extreme were some of these that 
in December, 1853, a court martial at Havana condemned 
him to death. Under the amnesty of 1855 he returned 
to' Cuba and became a teacher of modern languages and 
a writer for the press, and a few years later published 
a volume of charming poems. After ten years he left 
Cuba for New York and then for Mexico, and upon 
the outbreak of the Ten Years' War he joined the Cuban 
Junta in New York and became editor of its organ, La 
Revolution. In 1870 the Spanish Minister at Washing- 
ton, wishing to negotiate secretly with Cespedes, the 
leader of the Cuban revolutionists, gave Zenea a safe 
conduct to pass through the Spanish lines and convey a 
message to Cespedes. This errand was undertaken 
against the advice of his friends. It was accomplished 
in safety, however, until when, on his return trip, he 
was just about to pass beyond the limits of Spanish 
jurisdiction. Then he was seized by order of the Vol- 
unteers and imprisoned. The Spanish government at 
Madrid telegraphed orders to the Captain-General to 
honor the safe conduct and to release him at once. But 
that officer, the notorious Count Valmaseda, ignored these 
orders, kept Zenea in prison until there was a change of 
Ministry at Madrid, and then, on August 25, 1871, put 
him to death. The Spanish government disavowed this 
monstrous crime, and paid Zenea's widow an indemnity 
of $25,000, though it failed to punish Valmaseda accord- 
ing to his deserts. 

Another pupil of Luz y Caballero, and a close friend 
of Zenea, was Enrique Pifieyro, a journalist, historian, 
essayist and lecturer, who, born in 1839, had the good 
fortune to survive until 1911 and thus to see the work 
of Cuban independence triumphantly completed. Jose 
Morales Lemus, born in 1808, established in Havana in 


1863 the paper El Siglo, a powerful advocate of reforms 
and autonomy. He went with Saco and Azcarate on the 
Committee of Information to Madrid, and on his re- 
turn from that bootless errand he went to Washington 
as the first Cuban Minister. He was the envoy of the 
Provisional Government of the Cubans in the Ten Years' 

War, and as such, though the 
Cuban Republic did not re- 
ceive official recognition, he 
participated in formulating the 
plan of Cuban settlement 
which General Daniel E. Sick- 
les, as a special American 
envoy, carried to Madrid to 
propose to the Spanish govern- 
ment. This plan provided 
ENRIQUE FINEYRO that Spain should grant Cuban 

independence in return for a large indemnity to be paid 
by Cuba under the guarantee of the United States. It 
was not certain that the Cuban people would have ap- 
proved that plan. Indeed, it is probable that they would 
not have done so. The Spanish government would not 
listen to it, however, and it was abandoned. A little 
later, in June, 1870, Lemus died. 

One more Cuban writer demands attention, prior to 
the War of Independence; though there were indeed 
many others of merit whose names might well be re- 
called if a bibliography of the island were to be com- 


The son of a University professor of literature and history, Enrique 
Pineyro was born in Havana in 1839 and was educated at La Luz's school 
of El Salvador. He became a successful journalist, writer and teacher, and 
when the Ten Years' War began he went to New York and there edited 
"La Revolucion" and "El Nuevo Mundo," and wrote several notable his- 
tories and biographies. After the war he returned to Cuba for a short time, 
then went to Paris and remained there until his death in 1910. 

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A veteran of the Lopez insurrection and of the Ten Years' War 
was Jose Morales Lemus, who was born at Gibara on May 2, 
1808, and became a successful advocate. Convinced of the wrong 
of slavery, he liberated his own slaves, who however insisted upon 
voluntarily remaining in his service. He participated in the 
Lopez invasion in 1851 and in the Pinto conspiracy in 1855, on 
which account he was exiled to the United States. In 1866 he 
returned to Cuba and became President of the Junta of Informa- 
tion. At the outbreak of the Ten Years' War he went to New 
York to become head of the Cuban Junta there, in consequence of 
which all his property in Cuba was confiscated. At Washington 
he strove earnestly though in vain to secure the recognition of 
Cuban belligerence. His efficient patriotic labors were continued 
in New York to the day of his death, which occurred on June 23, 



piled. Rafael Merchan was born in 1844, and was thus 
a mere youth when the Ten Years' War began to be 
planned; yet we must reckon him to have been perhaps 
the foremost patriotic journalist of that struggle. It 
was he who suggested the name "Laborers" which was 
at first commonly applied to the Cuban revolutionists. 
It will be recalled that in Cuba affairs were directed by 
a "Labor Committee," that in the United States societies 
of "Cuban Laborers" were formed in many cities, and 
that periodicals called El Laborante were published. 
Proscribed and sentenced to death by the Spanish au- 
thorities, he found asylum in New York, and there edited 
the Cuban revolutionary journal, La Revolution. 
Thence a few years later he went to Bogota, Colombia, 
to engage in business and also to continue his literary 
career. It was his good fortune to be able to resume his 
patriotic writings in 1890, .when the War of Independ- 
ence began to loom upon the horizon, and to write in 
1895 and later several pamphlets in support of that 
struggle, some of which had much influence in both 
America and Great Britain. He lived to see the Cuban 
Republic securely established, and to go abroad as its 
Minister to France and Spain in 1902. His service was 
brief, however, because of ill health, which soon brought 
him home to die. 

It would be pleasant, and not lacking in profit, to 
dwell at greater length upon these and other intellectual 
leaders of the Cuban people. What we have said is, 
however, sufficient to show how greatly and how master- 
fully the intellectual side of Cuban life was developed 
during the century of political stress and fitful military 
strife which served as the stormy prelude to Cuba's 
achievement of her independent rank among the nations 
of the world. It was a development admirably com- 


parable with any ever recorded of any other people, and 
one which splendidly vindicated the claim of the Cuban 
people to worth as a sovereign nation. Moreover, it was 
an unmistakable earnest of approaching independence. 
While for a century Cuba was purely a Spanish colony, 
her intellectual life was embryotic and inert. During 
the two centuries while she was more or less an object 
of international contention, she showed little activity. 
But in her fourth century, the era of revolution and of 
aspirations for independence, she showed the stuff that 
was in her sons and daughters. Her soldiers were 
valiant in battle. Her statesmen were wise in council. 
Her scholars and literati commanded distinguished atten- 
tion in the most brilliant intellectual era of human his- 
tory, and demonstrated that the Cuba that was about to 
be would be in the culture of the higher life a worthy 
member of the community of nations. 




Los Angeles 
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University Research Library